ATHENS - Michael Bennett spoke to the media on Wednesday, for the first time since his season-ending knee injury. The sophomore receiver, who was hurt the week of the South Carolina game, expressed confidence he would be ready for next season.
"I feel like I'm really far along," Bennett said. "Actually the doctor that did my surgery, I went to see him Tuesday, he was saying I'm a poster child. So that's pretty good."
Bennett was the team's leading receiver through five games, before the injury, which he sustained on the final play of that Tuesday's practice. He said he expects that by June "the leash will be off me, and just do whatever, do what I used to do." That will be nine months after the surgery.
"BY spring I'll be doing routes and stuff, but not contact or anything like that. Full-speed running," he said.
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Bennett is traveling with the team for the SEC championship, the first time he's traveled since his injury.
It's a big group of injured players: Fellow receiver Marlon Brown also had knee surgery, linebacker Chase Vasser is out after shoulder surgery, and defensive end Abry Jones had ankle surgery a month ago - although Jones could be back for the bowl.
"Me, Marlon, Abry and Chase we're all just sitting in that training room just kind of sulking," Bennett said. "We wish we want to be out there but we're just glad our team is doing great without us. It just shows the depth we have at receiver."