Seven Vols undergo Monday surgeries

Five of the seven Tennessee football student-athletes who underwent surgical procedures throughout the day and early evening on Monday at UT Medical Center should return for at least partial participation in spring practice, according to head athletic trainer Jason McVeigh.

Only defensive end Robert Ayers (left shoulder) and defensive tackle Walter Fisher will miss spring drills, which begin Feb. 22. Both rising juniors, who were operated on by Drs. Greg Mathien and Russell Betcher, team orthopedists from the Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic, are expected to be fully fit in time for fall practice.

Four Vols underwent arthroscopic surgeries on Monday and one, wide receiver Josh Briscoe, underwent a hernia repair.

Rising junior linebacker Jerod Mayo (left knee) joined tailback Montario Hardesty (right knee), center Josh McNeil (left knee) and defensive end Xavier Mitchell (left shoulder) on Monday’s list. Hardesty and McNeil just completed their first playing season of competition, Briscoe will be a junior and Mitchell is entering his senior campaign in 2007.

McVeigh said that with the exceptions of Ayers and Fisher, the other players are on target to participate at least on a limited basis in spring practice.

Offensive tackle Eric Young underwent his arthroscopic shoulder surgery Friday afternoon.