Ben Martin's ACL is fine

It wasn't a touchdown pass or a bone-jarring tackle that brought the biggest smile to Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer's face as he discussed Tuesday's scrimmage. It was a diagnosis.

Contrary to reports published by some other web sites, heralded freshman Ben Martin has no ligament or cartilage damage in the knee he injured during last Saturday night's scrimmage. An arthroscopic exam showed merely a severe bruise.

"Ben does not have an anterior cruciate tear, which is great," Fulmer said in his opening remark following the scrimmage. "He has a bone bruise. He'll be back in two to four weeks; we're hopeful for two."

If Martin is back in two weeks he conceivably could be ready for duty in the home opener against Southern Miss on Sept. 8.

After sharing the good news on Martin, Fulmer smugly chided the reporter(s) who, in their zeal to break a story, "misdiagnosed" the injury and erroneously suggested Martin had suffered ligament damage.

Martin, a 6-5, 230-pound defensive end from Cincinnati, was one of the prize catches of Tennessee's 2007 recruiting class. He batted down two passes in the Vols' initial preseason scrimmage and appeared to be working his way into the rotation as a pass-rush specialist prior to the knee injury.

The high regard Fulmer has for Martin was evident in one comment:

"Ben Martin," the head man said, "will be an All-American here."

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