Stamper Injured in Season Opener

Two more Gators were hit by the injury bug in the aftermath of yesterday's dominating 56-10 win against Hawaii. Middle linebacker Ryan Stamper broke his thumb, and less surprising was a reoccurring injury to left guard Jim Tartt's shoulder.

Jim Tartt left the game early and was replaced by Marcus Gilbert at the guard spot. Tartt has had three surgeries on his right shoulder and it continues to bother the senior.

"It's really the same shoulder that he's had several surgeries on," Urban Meyer said during his Sunday morning teleconference. "He's questionable for the Miami game, but I think he'll play."

Stamper's injury came in the first half, and he managed to play through the pain in the second half.

"He had surgery on his thumb this morning," Meyer said. "He's questionable for the game on Saturday. He's a tough guy. It happened right before the end of the first half. I didn't even really know about it. They wrapped it up, and the medical staff was great in their willingness to come and get it done on a Sunday. His chances of playing on Saturday are greatly increased because of it."

Stamper's right thumb was broken at the joint and Sunday's surgery required no incision.

"They put in a couple of pins, and were able to do so without having to make an incision," Meyer said. "It's amazing what you can do nowadays. He'll have a cast on for the next four weeks, but it's a functional cast."

The good news is that Meyer expects Brandon Spikes to return for next week's matchup with Miami. Spikes had injured his right foot last week in practice and Stamper started in his place. Meyer lists Spikes as probable for Saturday along with Percy Harvin who missed Saturday's game as he still recovers from foot surgery.

Tight end Aaron Hernandez was the other starter that did not play on Saturday. It's not because of injury, but Meyer would not say if it was due to disciplinary reasons.

"I never announce anything about our players," Meyer said. "If he's ready to play, he'll play."

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Chris Chmielenski


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