Barnett Out w/ Knee Injury

A Georgia defensive lineman who is in line to get increased playing time this fall probably will be out the rest of the spring.

Sophomore Michael Barnett is sidelined with a knee injury, coach Kirby Smart said after Tuesday’s practice in Sanford Stadium.

Barnett sustained the MCL injury Thursday at a practice at Georgia’s Club Sports complex.

“It’s non-surgical right now,” Smart said. “Was really upset at that because we really try to pride ourselves of staying up, not going to the ground and the kid was playing really good.”

The 6-foot-4, 276-pound Dorchester, S.C., product had five tackles in seven games last season. He was sidelined during spring practices last year after enrolling early following shoulder surgery.

“I didn’t really know him last year,” Smart said. “I didn’t really recruit him so didn’t really know a lot about Michael but was really impressed about where he was after five practices.”

Georgia will be without two suspended sophomore defensive linemen for the season opener against North Carolina.

Jonathan Ledbetter will serve a one-game suspension for an alcohol-related arrest and Chauncey Rivers will sit out three more games for a second suspension for a marijuana arrest.

“We have depth issue at that position obviously,” Smart said. “We have some guys coming in that we think can help us. It’s made it really hard to practice the way I like to practice.”

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