Kentucky LB Avery Williamson battling through thumb injury

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As a veteran linebacker closing in on 300 career tackles, and his second consecutive season with more than 100 stops, Kentucky linebacker Avery Williamson's production is unlikely to be an issue for NFL scouts.

Scratch toughness of any list of concerns about the senior, as well.

Williamson recently had a cast removed from his hand. He had been playing with that cast on the way to making 88 stops for the Wildcats, but it had to go back on following UK's Saturday loss at Vanderbilt when his thumb issue flared up again, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said during a Wednesday teleconference.

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"He's had an issue all year. It's a ligament. It's not torn, it's not a torn ligament, but for some reason after this past weekend it swelled up very big," Stoops said. "As a matter of fact, it was so much swelling in it on Sunday that they couldn't put a cast on it until Monday when they got some of the swelling out of it. It's not anything that needs (to be) surgically repaired or anything like that. He's just having an issue with the tendon or a ligament in his thumb."

Williamson (6-foot-1, 240 pounds) doesn't possess great speed, but he could be a 2014 NFL Draft option for a team looking for an inside linebacker presence with accomplished run-stopping skills. Williamson is also on the watch list for the Senior Bowl and, if invited, could go a long way toward improving his draft status with a good showing during practice for the Mobile, Ala., all-star game.

Williamson will close his UK career Saturday at Georgia and against Tennessee at home the following week.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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