Monday brought the news of several integral pieces for Georgia are making progressions on the long road to recovery. The longest road so far has been that of George Pickens, the junior wide receiver who tore his ACL shortly after the beginning of spring practice and has been rehabbing ever since.
Reports started flying in Monday evening that the former Hoover, Alabama native was seen at practice Monday running routes with a knee brace on during the media viewing period. This would serve as the first time the media has seen Pickens running routes since Georgia's comeback win in the Peach Bowl over Cincinnati.
Pickens came off a four-game stretch in 2020 where he further solidified his status as the top receiver on the roster for Georgia. The connection formed between Pickens and then new starter JT Daniels at quarterback led Georgia to finish the season with a 4-0 record that put them in the conversation for the hottest team in college football at the time.
So, when could Pickens return?
Well, that decision is still up in the air according to sources, and it's not as soon as some may think.
I have zero doubts Georgia Pickens looks good and can make almost all the cuts and moves he needs to be able to make. But people don't understand this is absolutely normal for this stage of his rehab and get all giddy about it. If he wasn't doing almost all football-related activities at a high level at this point, I would be concerned. The thing here is a timetable for the full strength of that graft. That normally happens at the earliest around the 8-month mark and the further you get away from that mark... 9, 10, 11 months... the better and stronger it becomes, and the likelihood of re-tear decreases significantly. Having an athlete back from a clean ACL anywhere for 4-6 months is absolutely possible. However, with that, comes a risk. The further you are on the front side of that 8-month mark, the higher the chance of the graft tearing.
The source continued:
Basically, he can play... but does he and his camp as well as UGA/med staff want to take that risk come Florida which would be 7 months post-reconstruction.
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