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Gary hopes to return from leg injury

Receiver Damien Gary is hopeful he will return from a leg injury to play at least a limited role in Saturday's SEC championship game against Arkansas.

ATHENS, Ga. - Receiver Damien Gary is hopeful he will return from a leg injury to play at least a limited role in Saturday's SEC championship game against Arkansas.

Practices Monday night and today will help determine if Gary has recovered from the injury that has kept him out for four games. Gary needed two surgeries following the acute compartment syndrome injury to his left leg.

"I'm going to test it and see how I do," Gary said. "I don't want to jeopardize anything. If I feel good, there's a good chance I can go out on Saturday."

The Southeastern Conference championship game will be played on the hard artificial turf at the Georgia Dome, but Gary said the playing surface would not affect his status.

"Really, it's not a problem,"™ Gary said. "There' nothing I can do to injury it again."

Gary was a starting receiver and also one of the nation's leading punt returners before his injury, but safety Sean Jones has excelled in his fill-in role returning punts.

Gary may play as a receiver only in his first game back.

"I don' want to come in and stagger the momentum," Gary said. "I just want to contribute, whatever the contribution is, whether it's just cheering from the sideline."

Gary said he is limited only by the range of motion in his left ankle, which he rated at 75 percent.

"I definitely want to play, but at the same time I have to be smart and not jeopardize things down the road," he said.


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