ATHENS — In a potential blow to Georgia’s defense, senior cornerback Malkom Parrish could miss the start of the season after sustaining a foot injury.

Parrish broke a bone in his foot and required surgery, according to a source with firsthand knowledge of the situation. Such an injury usually keeps a player out several weeks.

Georgia opens the season two weeks from Saturday, at home against Appalachian State. A week later it has the much-awaited trip to Notre Dame.

Parrish has started 25 games over the past two seasons, missing just one start, and is one of the best pure tacklers on Georgia’s defense. Despite his size (5-foot-10 and 185 pounds), Parrish had 49 tackles last year, 36 of them solo. He also had a sack, 2 interceptions and 9 pass break-ups.

The Parrish injury would have a ripple effect on the rest of the secondary.

Parrish was not at practice Wednesday. In a sign that Parrish’s absence was not short-term, fellow senior Aaron Davis worked at cornerback, rather than the star (nickelback) or safety spot, as he had all preseason.

If Parrish can’t play in the opener, then the team has to decide who to play opposite junior Deandre Baker, the other starting cornerback. It could be Davis, who has starting experience there, sophomore Tyrique McGhee or even freshman Deangelo Gibbs.

Sophomore J.R. Reed, a transfer from Tulsa, has been working at first-team safety. If Davis ends up at cornerback, that would seem to open up the star for either McGhee, Gibbs, junior Jarvis Wilson.