ATHENS — Trent Thompson walked into Georgia’s indoor facility on Wednesday morning, wearing a long green coat. He looked slimmer than his listed 309 pounds last year. But he also looked healthy, which is good news for himself and his team.
Thompson, the star defensive lineman who has withdrawn from classes this summer to deal with an unspecified medical issue, is still with the team in an unofficial capacity, and looks on track to return fully this summer.
“He’s doing really well,” head coach Kirby Smart said Wednesday. “Very pleased with his progress. He continues to get better, and that’s the biggest thing for us right now, is a day-by-day process of rehabbing his shoulder and making sure he’s well. He’s done a very good job of that. He’s increased his weight too.”
Asked if he was hopeful about Thompson returning to the team this summer, Smart answered: “Hopefully. Yeah, hopefully.”
Thompson, the team’s co-leader in sacks last season, was hospitalized last month what the school called an “adverse reaction to medications prescribed specifically for his medical condition.” He subsequently withdrew from classes to concentrate on what the school also called a “significant medical issue.”
But Thompson has remained in Athens most of the time. He’s rehabbing his shoulder, which was injured prior and separate to the medical incident, and Smart said there were some “waivers in process” to allow him to participate in meetings.
“He’s not going to participate in spring practice but he wasn’t going to do that anyway, with the shoulder (injury),” Smart said. “So the biggest thing is from a health concern, and also from his rehab concern.”
Thompson had lost a lot of weight, down to about 265-270 pounds, his uncle said last week. But it appears he has put some of it back on, and Smart said he’s benefitting from still being around the team.
“I think that gives him some normalcy. I think that’s what he’s looking for,” Smart said. “He’s wanting a normal routine, getting back on that routine is (good). I think spring break helped, to have him here with Ron rehabbing and doing the things he needed to do. That was a great added bonus for him.”