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Weekly injury update

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FB_08_09_UK_USC_17.jpgAt the beginning of the season, who would have imagined that linebacker Micah Johnson, cornerback Trevard Lindley and quarterback Mike Hartline could all potentially be out for the same game?

That could be the case Saturday when the Cats welcome Mississippi State to Commonwealth Stadium.

An MRI test Monday morning confirmed that linebacker Micah Johnson has an isolated medial collateral ligament tear. Johnson is questionable to doubtful, Brooks said, and will be re-evaluated later this week.

Sophomore Ronnie Sneed would start in place of Johnson if he is unable to play. Brooks is confident Sneed can fill in for Johnson if called upon, but it's hard to measure how much it would hurt the team if he cannot play.

"You can't quantify how much exactly," Brooks said, "but it certainly doesn't help. Let's put it that way. We're facing a big, physical running back (Anthony Dixon) and Micah just happens to be a big, physical linebacker."

Cornerback Trevard Lindley (high ankle sprain) ran at Sunday's practice but was sore on Monday. Brooks said he remains on the questionable side.

"I'm sure (missing games isn't) how he envisioned his senior season when he decided to come back," Brooks said.

Quarterback Mike Hartline, who is recovering from an MCL tear, some cartilage damage and a slight posterior collateral ligament tear, has accumulated some swelling in his knee after standing on the sideline for the Louisiana-Monroe game.

Brooks said they would know more at the end of the week on the MCL and if the cartilage would be a problem after the MCL heals.

"He's not quite far along as we would hope at this point," Brooks said.

In addition to those major injuries, several players are dinged up and battling illness.
Tailback CoShik Williams (sick), defensive tackle Shane McCord (bruised shin), long snapper J.J. Helton (sick), safety Winston Guy (back) and safety Matt Lentz (ankle) will all likely miss some time at practice this week.

"It's a physical game and there are very, very few guys that are feeling 100 percent," Brooks said.

Even Brooks, a bit croaky at the podium on Monday, is not at 100 percent, although he is expected to be on the sidelines Saturday.

"Yeah, I'll play," Brooks said.

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