DESTIN, Fla. — Tennessee defensive end Jacques Smith recently underwent a second foot surgery, this time on his left for a minor stress fracture, coach Derek Dooley said at Tuesday’s SEC spring meetings.
Dooley called the surgery “precautionary,” indicating that it wasn’t a necessary procedure, but one he considered an “insurance policy” for the upcoming season.
“There was enough there to say, ‘Are we willing to go into the fall and have the chance of this happening?’ ” Dooley said. “I think it’s common. And he’s such an explosive guy when he pushes off, we didn’t want to risk it (for camp or season). So we went in and put the screw in.”
Smith had one of the best springs of any UT player but missed the Orange and White Game because of an injury he sustained in his right foot.
Smith, who as a freshman in 2010 totaled 24 tackles and two sacks, was one of four Vols to receive the “Big Lick Award,” which is given to players who consistently play with the most toughness.
Smith was originally anticipated to work out to full capacity by June but is now more likely to be limited throughout the summer.
Dooley said Smith, a sophomore who is expected to be a cornerstone of the Vols’ defense in 2011, should be ready for practice in August.
Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble