As good as it is to hear this…
Nearly six months after he sustained a torn ACL in practice, star Georgia wide receiver George Pickens is back on the practice field running routes and catching passes.
It’s unclear how long the junior has done what reporters saw him doing Monday afternoon during nine minutes of viewing time since it was the first time practice was open to the media since 2019.
Pickens, wearing a non-contact black jersey and a brace on his right leg, lined up as the third outside receiver on one side behind freshmen Adonai Mitchell and Jackson Meeks in the practice in the team’s indoor facility on a rainy day.
Pickens ran routes in a drill without any defenders, catching three passes thrown his way including one he cut over the middle. No photos or video were permitted to be taken. That was the only practice period the media was able to see.
… from a health standpoint, it’s even better to recognize it from an attitude standpoint.
“He’s rehabbing every day,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said two weeks ago. “He’s lifting every day. He’s going to school and doing all his school work and he’s done a good job of doing that.”
It would have been easy enough for Pickens to check out, but mentally, he’s stayed committed. And that’s good, because it sounds like he’s still got a ways to go.
Smart was noncommittal then on if Pickens might be able to return this season, saying he has monthly visits with renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews. He tore his ACL on March 23 in practice.
“He’s working hard and he’s straight-line running but I have no idea of a date of return,” Smart said. “That’s just too far out right now.”
When word of the injury first came out, I assumed we’d never see Pickens play in a Georgia game again. There’s still a decent chance that’s the case, but if he’s working that hard, you have to believe he’d like to prove that assumption wrong. I hope he gets that chance.