Gandy has ACL injury

A Tennessee offensive line that already is losing three seniors to graduation, may have lost another player to a knee injury.

Rising senior Richie Gandy suffered what is believed to be a torn ACL in his left knee earlier this week during a campus intramural basketball game, according to preliminary reports from the UT Sports Medicine Staff.

Gandy suffered the injury Wednesday night. An MRI was performed, and reconstructive surgery is planned within the next week.

"We are hopeful Richie will be able to return for at least part of if not all of the 2005 season," Head Athletic Trainer Keith Clements said in a statement released by the UT sports information staff. "However, most ACL rehabs take nine months on average. There may be some dynamics within Richie's situation, if the damage is limited to just the ACL, so that he possibly could return earlier rather than later."

Three of Tennessee's top 2004 offensive linemen -- starting tackle Michael Munoz, starting center Jason Respert and backup center Chuck Prugh -- are out of eligibility.

A native of Darlington, S.C., Gandy played sparingly until midway through the 2004 season. With the offensive line hampered by injuries, he started five of the last six games. One of those starts came at center, where he was expected to challenge for the starting job when spring drills open on March 10.

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