Trenton Thompson shook hands, hugged and spoke to numerous people inside Georgia’s indoor practice facility. Sporting a green overcoat, Thompson looked lighter than the 309-pound frame he played in during the 2016 season.
Thompson appeared in good spirits and often displayed a smile while watching Georgia’s pro day Wednesday with his fellow teammates. Thompson, a sophomore, has been back in Athens of late to continue rehabbing an injured shoulder that required surgery, and also to better his health after a recent incident that caused him to be hospitalized.
Head coach Kirby Smart said he is “hopeful” Thompson, who withdrew from classes during the spring semester, will be able to return to the team this summer. Smart spoke about what Thompson is able to do with the program for the time being.
“He’s allowed to rehab right now,” Smart said. “There are some waivers in process right now to allow him in meetings. Obviously he won’t participate in spring practice, but he wouldn’t anyway with the shoulder. The biggest component right now is from a health concern more than a rehab concern.”
Early Feb. 23, Thompson was taken to a local hospital due to complications related to recent medical treatment. The Georgia football program, with permission from Thompson’s family, revealed that “the physical appearance and behavior described in the UGA PD report is solely related to an adverse reaction to medications prescribed specifically for his medical condition. The adverse reaction required emergency transport to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released.”
It is unknown when exactly Thompson injured his shoulder, but it did require surgery. Thompson was previously seen around campus wearing a brace on the injury, to which he is no longer doing.
Last week, Smart said Thompson was on campus rehabbing with Georgia director of sports medicine Ron Courson.
While Thompson looks lighter, Smart said he has been able to put some weight back on. As a sophomore in 2016, Thompson finished third on the team in tackles with 56 and tied for first in sacks with five.
Three of those sacks came in a Liberty Bowl MVP performance that saw Georgia defeat TCU 31-23.
“He was doing really well. I am pleased with his progress. He continues to get better,” Smart said. “That’s the biggest thing for us right now. It’s a day by day process of rehabbing the shoulder and making sure he’s well. He’s done a good job of that. He’s increased his weight too.”
While Thompson wouldn’t have participated during spring practice, there does stand a good chance he will be able to partake in football activities this summer if everything goes as planned.
But for Thompson, Smart said it has been beneficial to already be back in Athens to be around his teammates and coaching staff.
“I think that gives him some normalcy,” Smart said. “That’s what he’s looking for. He wants a normal routine. Getting back on that routine, I think spring break helped, to have him here with Ron rehabbing, and do the things he needed to do. That was a great added bonus.”