Gandy out 2-3 weeks

Tennessee's Richie Gandy said Friday that while the knee injury he suffered during Thursday's practice is a setback, it is unrelated to his rehabilitation from a February injury.

"This is a new injury," Gandy said of his patellar subluxation, or partial dislocation of the kneecap. "It has nothing to do with the ACL reconstruction I had in the spring. Regardless of whether or not I had undergone ACL surgery, this injury would have occurred."

Gandy originally injured his knee in February during a campus intramural basketball game. He underwent surgery March 4.

Thursday, a teammate landed on Gandy's left leg as the senior center was falling to the ground during live scrimmage drills. Head athletic trainer Keith Clements said Gandy had received clearance to participate in full speed drills from the doctor who performed the surgery, the Tennessee orthopedic medical staff and UT physical therapist Jason McVeigh.

"He had been doing well," Clements said. "This is an unrelated incident, but we're very fortunate because the MRI revealed no damage to the reconstructed anterior cruciate ligament and no damage to any of the other major ligaments.

"We're going to go ahead and be very optimistic about this and try to get him back in action as soon as possible."

Clements expects a recovery time of 2-3 weeks, which likely means the Darlington, S.C., native would miss the Sept. 3 season opener against UAB.

"I'm going to do everything I can to get back by the start of the season," Gandy said. "But a more realistic goal probably is for the open week before Florida."

Tennessee's Friday practice saw the Vols take to Haslam Field under the noon sun, trying to simulate conditions they will face that first Saturday of next month.

"We wanted to get out and practice at the time of day when we would be playing in two weeks," head coach Phillip Fulmer said. "We've had a lot of daytime work, but we also need the two night practices coming up."

The Vols have two full scrimmages scheduled over their next three practice dates, with both dress rehearsals taking place under the lights at Neyland Stadium. Among the subjects likely to receive the most scrutiny Saturday are centers, defensive backs, tailbacks and the kicking game.

"I think we've gotten better each time we've gone out," Fulmer said. "I hope Saturday is better on both sides. We need to play and get in some kind of game shape."

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