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Georgia WR George Pickens hopes to recover from his ACL injury and return to the team in 2021.

Georgia football WR George Pickens targeting return in 2021, Kirby Smart optimistic

Georgia coach Kirby Smart indicated there’s a chance George Pickens might still play in 2021, and a source close to Pickens indicated that is indeed the goal for the third-year receiver.

Pickens suffered a torn ACL in practice earlier this week and will soon undergo surgery before beginning his rehab.

“Obviously, I think there’s a chance he’s back in 21,” Smart said during his Thursday Zoom call following the Bulldogs’ fifth practice of the spring. “We’ve had kids that have ACL injuries, I liken it to Divaad (Wilson). Divadd got his (ACL injury) when he first got here on the third day of spring practice.

“I think he was cleared to go somewhere around Florida week (end of October).”

Wilson didn’t play, that week, but Smart indicated that was because he was a freshman still learning the defense

“George knows most of the offense, and he’s played more, and he’s older,” Smart said. “(But) all of that will be dictated by Ron (Courson). We’re not concerned with that right now. What we’re concerned with is a great surgery and a great rehab, he has a long career ahead of him.

“That will be a situation where the doctors make the medical decisions.”

Smart said Pickens has remained engaged with the team and is attending team meetings, including Wednesday’s unity meeting, which Smart refers to as skull sessions.

“We’ve worked on different DNA components each time we’ve met, (and) they’ve been really good, and it’s been really good for me,” Smart said. “You get to see the players in a different light, you get to share personal things. It’s a good group talk and it’s a good connection.

“George has been part of all of those. Ironically, our topic yesterday was resiliency, which was picked long before the injury happened to George,” Smart said.

“We talked a lot about Alex Smith’s injury and his road to recovery and the things he had to overcome …I think George will embrace the role.

“George loves football, he will be around our players, and coaching the guys and helping any way he can, which I think is huge.”

Smart said the one positive way to look at it, is that the injury happened in early spring as opposed to fall camp.

“Yeah, it hurts, but the positive I guess you could find in any of this is, would you rather (Pickens) find this out now or a week before the Clemson game?” Smart said. “It is tough for George, of course, but he is going to be on the mend and the healing side as opposed to going through anything next year in the season.”

 

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