Junior offensive tackle Cody Gibson will miss the remainder of spring practice due to a meniscus tear in his knee, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier announced Thursday after practice.
That’s a short-term problem, though, as Gibson is expected to be healthy in time for voluntary summer workouts. What may have a bigger impact on the Gamecocks is the fate of fellow junior offensive tackle Mike Matulis, who Spurrier said Thursday “may” return to the team.
“He had two surgeries and sometimes a guy has two or three surgeries, he’s wondering if he should continue playing or not. So he had some thoughts about it, but right now I think he’s scheduled to come back, but he’s still wait and see,” Spurrier said.
Matulis was a first-team freshman All-American in 2011 after starting five games, including the final four of the season at right tackle, as a true freshman. He had shoulder surgery following the season and then returned to start another five games in 2012 before surgery on the other shoulder ended his season early. Matulis will not participate this spring because of rehabilitation from the second shoulder surgery.
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Gibson will have surgery, but “it’s a pretty simple surgery,” Spurrier said. Gibson started four games as a redshirt freshman in 2011 and two last year. He was listed as Brandon Shell’s backup this spring.
Freshman D.J. Park, who enrolled in school in January, is playing some tackle for the Gamecocks this spring.
The football coaches told Bruce Ellington he could take the week off, but he won’t go away.
Ellington, who just finished basketball season, came out Thursday for the second consecutive practice and worked his way into some of the team’s receiving drills, albeit without a helmet and pads.
“He’s got to play ball every day, you know that,” Spurrier said.
Ellington isn’t expected to fully join practice until next week.
“He can’t relax. He can’t do it,” wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. said. “He may come out (Friday) and put his helmet on and go.”
Wide receiver Shaq Roland stood out in Thursday’s workout, Spurrier said.
“Shaq Roland had the best practice he had since he’s been a Gamecock,” Spurrier said. “He was catching everything, running full speed. I gave him a little compliment to the team afterward.”
South Carolina’s held its fourth practice of the spring Thursday, working out for fewer than two hours at its Bluff Road practice fields.
“Cold and windy day, we cut back a little bit,” Spurrier said.
The Gamecocks will practice again Friday afternoon before holding what is scheduled to be a scrimmage Saturday morning at 10 at Williams-Brice Stadium. However, the scrimmage will be very limited, Spurrier said.
“It is not going to be too much this week,” he said. “The weather is not supposed to improve any so we’ll probably wait until a week or two later to get in most of the scrimmaging.”
The Gamecocks spring practices and scrimmages are open to the public at no charge.
... Wide receiver Damiere Byrd did not practice Thursday because of a pulled hamstring suffered while running track, Spurrier Jr. said. There is no timetable for his return.
Steve Spurrier post-practice