Less than a year after a major knee injury ended Georgia wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell's junior season before it had really started, a minor knee issue has sidelined him indefinitely.
Mitchell injured his right knee earlier this week, and underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage. UGA would not offer a timetable for Mitchell's return, but as dawgs247.com noted, such procedures typically sideline players for 2-4 weeks. With the Bulldogs opening fall camp on Friday, new quarterback Hutson Mason will have to wait to build practice chemistry with arguably the team's most talented receiver.
If Mitchell's recovery takes four weeks, his availability for Georgia's season opener against Clemson could be questionable. Mitchell tore the ACL in the same knee during Georgia's opener against Clemson last year, and spent the fall rehabbing the knee.
Mitchell was expected to team with seniors Michael Bennett, who missed two games and most of another with a slight knee injury last season, and Chris Conley to give Georgia one of the best receiving trios in the SEC. But there is relatively unproven depth beyond the top three. If Mitchell misses more than a game, the Bulldogs will need junior Justin Scott-Wesley and sophomore Reggie Davis to take on bigger roles. Scott-Wesley also is returning from a torn ACL. Another issue with Scott-Wesley is that he is suspended for the opener, and coach Mark Richt told reporters Friday that Scott-Wesley might not be available early in the season beyond the suspension.
In his last healthy season, in 2012, Mitchell played both ways for Georgia, lining up at cornerback early in the season and finishing the year at receiver, where he caught 40 passes for 572 yards and four touchdowns.
Mitchell has two more seasons of college eligibility, but would be draft eligible next year if he chose to forego his final college season.