Martin's knee injury not as bad as first feared

Tennessee freshman defensive end Ben Martin doesn't have torn knee ligaments, as many in the program first believed following his non-contact injury in last Saturday night's scrimmage.

Arthroscopic surgery Tuesday revealed only a deep bone bruise. He is expected to miss two to four weeks instead of the entire season.

Injury news ruled the day in Tuesday's final preseason scrimmage, other than Saturday's kicking scrimmage.

Linebacker Ryan Karl returned to full contact for the first time since the Orange and White Game, having been sidelined with a sore back caused by an offseason weight room accident.

"The first couple of plays, I had a little jitters," said Karl, who said focusing on improving his endurance is the pressing challenge.

Junior Jerod Mayo said having Karl on the field - especially because he makes the defensive calls - was great.

"Having that experience out there plays a key role for this defense," Mayo said. "It's different. When he's out there, the tempo of the defense, the tone, everything changes. I'm real excited to have him back out there."

Had Karl not been able to practice with the first team Tuesday, the Vols would have been forced to insert their fourth-string strongside linebacker during preseason camp. Backup Ellix Wilson is still sidelined with a knee injury. Junior Adam Myers-White, Karl's recent replacement, was sidelined with an injured finger on his left hand.

Senior tight end Brad Cottam left practice early and will undergo an X-ray on his left wrist after dropping what would have been a long touchdown pass.

Sophomore center Josh McNeil missed his second straight practice with a flu-like illness after battling through symptoms last Saturday.

With McNeil absent, UT tried junior Anthony Parker at center, sliding second-string center Michael Frogg, a senior, to right guard.

Freshman receiver Gerald Jones spent Tuesday's practice on a stationary bike as he tried to rehabilitate a sore hamstring.

As expected, junior kicker/punter Britton Colquitt did not practice as he rehabilitates a pulled quadriceps muscle.

In his place, Daniel Lincoln hit 6-of-7 field goals. The longest was 38 yards. Fellow freshman Chad Cunningham punted six times for a 40.3-yard average. His longest was 53 yards.

Tight End Troubles:

Chris Brown offered a theory as to why he and his fellow tight ends have dropped several passes this preseason.

"I think it's just been a lack of focus on our part," the senior said. "The ball's been there. We have to catch the ball when it comes our way. That's what we're here for. We have to make the plays."

Brown said dropped passes have been an issue, whether practice has been open to the media or not.

"We've dropped balls in practice. We've dropped balls in public," Brown said. "But we've caught a lot. You have to do it on the big stage. Hopefully, when California comes around, we'll get on the big stage, perform and make the big plays we needs to make."

More Denarius:

Freshman receiver Denarius Moore seems to have cemented his place on UT's travel squad for the opener at California. Moore made an athletic one-handed catch for a 9-yard gain and nearly kept his feet in bounds to secure a deep, downfield pass, as he twisted 180 degrees to secure the pass which was out of bounds.

Taylor said it appeared that Moore had no missed assignments or alignments. He finished the scrimmage with two receptions for 22 yards.

"I think he's ready to go," senior quarterback Erik Ainge said.

Oh No, O'Neal:

Junior receiver Kenny O'Neal had a tough time Tuesday. A hard, well placed hit from sophomore Dorian Davis knocked the ball loose after a short reception.

Initially, the ball seemed to be recovered by offensive lineman Ramon Foster before the junior dropped it. The loose ball was then recovered by sophomore running back Montario Hardesty for a 6-yard loss.

O'Neal also dropped a pass that could have converted a third-and-long.

"He better go out there and make the plays," receivers coach Trooper Taylor said. "If he doesn't, we'll make sure somebody will."

Flying Falcon:

Freshman Dennis Rogan returned an interception off sophomore Jonathan Crompton 41 yards. Rogan, a former Fulton High School star, also forced a fumble with a hard hit on sophomore receiver Quintin Hancock

Ainge on O'Brien List:

Ainge has been named to the Davey O'Brien award watch list, along with 35 other quarterbacks from around the country. Ohio State's Troy Smith won last year's award, which is presented annually to the best quarterback in college football.

Ups And Downs:

At the behest of his teammates, Karl performed a set of up-downs following practice because he forgot to wear knee pads.

"They caught me," said a smiling, out of breath Karl during interviews following practice.

Long Ball:

Redshirt Stephens Nick Stephens completed an 88-yard touchdown pass to freshman Ahmad Paige in third team versus third team drills.

Safety Second?:

Freshman receiver Brent Vinson could soon move to the secondary, UT coach Phillip Fulmer said on Vol Calls on Monday evening.

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Comments » 21

Perry writes:

Great news indeed! Really looking forward to seeing this kid on the field this year.

AllVol writes:

Heaven be praised! I couldn't believe it when I saw the post! This is fantastic news. Now, let's hear that Coker is going to California and we'll be set.

andy112382#209793 writes:

Wow, please be an omen of good breaks to come for Tennessee this season!

tigervol9802 writes:

Fulmer today said that Marin and Berry can both be All-Americans before the leave Tennessee. Those are huge words considering the source.

vol4jesus writes:

Crvol and jrraymond are missing from this post . Why? Is it to upbeat? Too positive? Too much good news for the Vols? C'mon guys show your true colors(preferably ORANGE)with a sigh for this young man not having a year of rehab etc.

ElizabethtonvolnNC writes:

Excellent! Can you feel it? CAN YOU FEEL IT??

McIntireIMP writes:

thank you Jesus!

GreerVol22 writes:

Nothing negative about a kids misfortune that takes a turn for the better.

agentorange writes:

Sweet. I lost some hair when D. Bolden when down at the orange and white game. Lost a little more when Martin went down. Glad we'll have both of them this fall.

vol4jesus writes:

10 days 22 hrs and 50 minutes til football time in Tenne...ooops Caleefournea(use Arnolds voice). For the record and may all see that I state I am not e-stalking CRVOL(play Twilight Zone tune)here on GVE.For the record I now take back my all negative claim on CRVOL with his post on big Ben. Being humble is hard but I must practice what I post. GO VOLS!!!

GreerVol22 writes:

Hey now, some of the finest weed grows in Cocke County. Newport is to weed as Vidalia is to Onions.....Good people there, don't knock their livelyhood.

mdvol writes:

WE ARE GOING TO FREAKIN' KILL CAL! Vols 34 Cal 17. Probably not even that close. Good news about Ben Martin. However, what a misdiagnosis! It was interesting when this injury was announced that it wasn't going to be Dr. Bill Youmans conducting the surgery. With all the x-rays, MRI's and experience available, he's got to have surgery to discover he has a bruise???

andy112382#209793 writes:

Thats the spirit, mdvol! Haha...yea, talk about an 'uh-oh' moment, they go into his knee and go 'oopsie, just a bruise!'...reminds me when I went to the hospital 2 years back and told them how my back had been killing me, then my abdomen, they figured it was my appendix, they went in and it was perfectly fine!....They took it anyway.....oh, well! GO VOLS!!!

andefromtn#212139 writes:

Nice to finally hear a bit of news about the local freshman Dennis Rogan. I pulling for him to out perform Harrison Smith who signed with Notre Dame. The young man helped Fulton win 3 out of 4 state championships so he knows how to win, I hope he can grow into being the same type of outstanding player he was in high school at UT. Go Vols and Go Falcons.

Bigger_Al writes:

Best news possible on Ben Martin! Yes!!

Brent Vinson to the Secondary? I wonder what is driving that move... Maybe he can play faster on defense. They say he is physical. He can still help on the return game.

txsvol#372416 writes:

OK, guys. MRIs and physical exams don't tell you everything, especially when there is blood and swelling in the joint. A DIAGNOSTIC arthroscopy, with a hook to probe and pull the ACL obviously demonstrated that it was intact. A MCL injury probably will heal in 2-4 weeks, and allow Ben to rehab and play this year. There may have been a partial tear of the medial meniscus which was repaired or excised, and should prevent arthritis in later years. This is fantastic news! Kudos to the orthopedists involved for being sure, and not guessing! Go Vols! SAVol

mdvol writes:

I suppose nor does a KNS headline tell you everything either. Especially the one that reads August 19 - "Martin Has Torn Ligament in Knee". Must have been news to him.

txsvol#372416 writes:

"Bone bruise" is a term very likely meaning a hyperextension injury: say, Ben jumped up, perhaps to avoid a teammate being run out of bounds, and landed awkwardly on somebody's foot, causing the lower leg to slip forward, and 'hyperextend' the posterior capsule and perhaps, the posterior cruciate ligament and posterior horn of the medial meniscus. With hemorrhage into the joint, the Lachman and Drawer Tests were probably inconclusive, as was the MRI. The orthopedists are on firm ground to perform an exam under anesthesia, followed by arthroscopy of the joint. Hey, Dave was there, probably saw the trainers/doctors, and all were making reasonable speculations about the injury. (For further information about the knee, interested parties can get details at www.kneeguru.co.uk/html) Go Vols! SAVol

hueypilot writes:

Having txsvol on here is better than Ben Casey and the Discovery Channel all rolled into one. Where else but GV could you get this kind of info? I must admit, as an ex medevac pilot, I am a frustrated wannabe Doc. And could have been one if, as Woody Harrelson said in "Doc Hollywood" , "It hadn't been for all that science and stuff."

txsvol#372416 writes:

An idle mind between cases allows such detail, Huey. Right now, we're waiting for the repair of the ACL injury that I'm helping with. (The primary surgeon is an Iraqi War vet, having commanded a reserve hospital in 2003-2004, and is a terrific surgeon.) When I was a high school team doctor, I had a 'terrible triad' injury that an orthopedist and I repaired during his junior year. The young man returned for his senior year, got a scholarship to UTEP to play LB/DE, played several years of pro ball, and his reconstructed knee held up well throughout his athletic career. Another young man, without the athletic skills and size for further athletics, just a fair high school TB, had only an in-substance tear of the ACL and a grade 2 MCL, and got another opinion, so that he could resume his playing in 3-4 weeks (His dad wanted him to play, his mother thought long term, as I did). His knee held up for a half, and he reinjured it making a cut, without even being hit. So, then he had reconstructive surgery. Huey, I've flown with you guys picking up burn patients! One of my colleagues had just landed in a field near New Braunfels at dusk because the patient had airway problems, could not intubate, attempted a tracheostomy with a disposable scapel, which broke! So, he did a needle cricothyrotomy, which he extended with the broken part of the scapel enough to get an endotracheal tube in place to breathe for the patient. On my first flight, not wanting to have a similarly harrowing experience, I performed an awake nasotracheal intubation at the outlying hospital, where we landed to pick up a patient who had powdered coal explode into his face. Since he had carbon in his sputum on bronchoscopy, and since his face had soot and burns on it, I overtreated him, in retrospect. When we returned to BAMC, took him to the whirlpool and cleaned him up, the only skin problem he had was 1 and 2 degree burns on his face, and an inhalation injury which resolved in ten days. But another colleague was stupid enough to go up with the flight crew with a leaking auxiliary tank. An anesthesiology colleague just passed through who was awarded a Silver Star for five dust-off rescues with the 101 Airborne Div in 'Nam. There is talk of a belated upgrade to MOH. SAVol

hueypilot writes:

No greater calling than dustoff, except of course you fellows patching them up when we got them back to the field hospital. Went through the pilot's med course at BAMC about twenty plus years ago. My flying days are over. And I do miss it. But I appreciate your weighing in with the technical observations on the medical side, and I'd like to apologize again for confusing you, once, long ago with DSAVol. He has been MIA for quite some time and I fear he is lost forever. As for crico's they told us that after you made the small incision in the skin, the old Army issue ball point pen worked pretty good if you didn't have a trach tube. Go Vols

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