ATHENS — Georgia receiver George Pickens has been cleared for non-contact football activity the past two weeks, since meeting with world-renowned orthopedic surgeon James Andrews.
There has been speculation that Pickens is targeting the Bulldogs game against Florida on Oct. 30 as a best-case scenario for his comeback, but coach Kirby Smart said there’s not a timeline on his return.
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UGA opened practice for media viewing for the first time since 2019 on Monday. Pickens was observed running routes wearing a knee brace with a black, non-contact jersey.
Smart provided the update on Pickens, who suffered a torn ACL last March, following the Bulldogs’ practice on Tuesday.
“I was excited for George I guess two weeks ago Monday or Tuesday, he had a meeting with Dr.Andrews,” Smart said.
“He felt like he was in a really good spot and cleared him to do some football activity, in terms of route turning, things on air, not contact.”
Pickens’ mother and UGA head trainer Ron Courson accompanied the Georgia star receiver on his visit to see Andrews.
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Smart said watching Pickens run routes and catch passes that you wouldn’t think there’s anything wrong with him, but UGA head trainer Ron Courson has a specific protocol he’s following.
“George has done a tremendous job doing what he’s supposed to in rehab and being where he’s supposed to be,” Smart said. “He’s prescribed 15 or 20 minutes at the beginning of practice, and then he goes to his rehab program and lifting program.”
One of Pickens’ family members posted on social media two weeks ago that the comeback was coming soon.
“What’s the prognosis? I don’t know … I don’t know the timeline on that,” Smart said. “I do know he’s working really hard.
“We’ve not made it about George’s return. We talk about George getting healthy.”
Smart said Pickens’ body has responded well, and that the knee injury was not as bad as some of the other ACL injuries other UGA players have had, such as former star Nick Chubb.
Pickens was among several UGA standouts who missed last year’s game with Florida, including Jordan Davis, Kenny McIntosh and departed NFL safety Richard LeCounte.