Gandy's optimistic

Despite a newly repaired ACL tear, Richie Gandy expects to be in gear when Tennessee opens preseason football drills in August.

Gandy was UT's projected starting center for 2004-05 until he tore his left ACL while grabbing a rebound in a pickup basketball game Feb. 16. He underwent surgery shortly thereafter. Dr. Patrick Connor performed the surgery and gave Gandy a good prognosis for a speedy recovery.

''It was a straight ACL tear; nothing else was wrong,'' Gandy said. ''He told me there'd be a five- to six-month rehab ... if I got after it and did what I was supposed to do, I'd be back before the season. So far, so good.''

Gandy, a 6-foot-5, 315-pound rising senior from Darlington, S.C., started three games at right guard and one at center last season. He also saw considerable playing time at tackle, making him UT's most versatile O-lineman.

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