Tennessee coach Butch Jones said he didn't know whether quarterback Justin Worley would return this season from surgery on his thumb because recovery depends on "how the body heals."
"Each person is different in the healing process," Jones said Wednesday on the SEC teleconference.
True freshman Josh Dobbs will lead the Vols (4-3, 1-3 SEC) against No. 10 Missouri (7-1, 3-1) on Saturday (TV: ESPN, 7 p.m.) at Faurot Field in Columbia.
Jones said Worley's injury is similar to the one suffered by quarterback Nathan Peterman against Florida on Sept. 21. Peterman's cast has been removed, but he is still unlikely to be ready to play for at least another week. If Worley follows a similar timeline, he would miss the rest of the regular season.
“We’re being told that there is a possibility (of Worley returning)," Jones said. "We’ve been told it can be anywhere from three weeks now to four weeks to five weeks. It’s just about how he progresses.”
Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him on Twitter.