University of Missouri

Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel disputes reports on James Franklin’s recovery time

Updated: 2013-10-14T05:34:25Z

The Kansas City Star

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel disputed reports about the recovery time quarterback James Franklin will require on Sunday.

Pinkel’s weekly TV show aired Sunday morning on KOMU in Columbia, and according to a Columbia Tribune reporter, Pinkel said that Franklin suffered a Grade II shoulder separation and will be out a few weeks but that it was too soon to know exactly how long.

On Saturday, CBS Sports college football columnist Bruce Feldman, citing an anonymous source, reported that Franklin would miss at least six weeks. ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, also citing an anonymous source, reported that Franklin would miss the Tigers’ six remaining regular-season games.

According to the Tribune reporter, Pinkel said Sunday that those reports were not accurate: “We haven’t even talked about it. I just said he’ll be out a few weeks,” adding that he would have more details on Franklin’s prognosis in the next 48 hours.

If Franklin is out six weeks, he would miss all but the Tigers’ regular-season finale against Texas A&M on Nov. 30.

Franklin left in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 41-26 victory at No. 7 Georgia. Also Saturday, senior cornerback E.J. Gaines, a Fort Osage graduate, left because of a right quad strain early in the second quarter and did not return.

Pinkel said Sunday on his TV show that Gaines has a “thigh bruse” and that there is no timetable yet for his return either.

Franklin was injured early in the fourth quarter when he threw a ball away awkwardly near the sideline. Georgia linebacker Jordan Jenkins tackled Franklin on the play, driving his right shoulder into the ground.

Franklin, who had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder in March 2012 and injured the same shoulder last year against the Bulldogs, got up shaking his right arm. He stayed in the game for one more play, a 4-yard scramble out of bounds, before Missouri called a timeout and Franklin headed to the locker room.

The injury put a damper on Missouri’s watershed win in the Southeastern Conference.

“Man, it’s a huge loss,” senior wide receiver L’Damian Washington said. “I’m saddened by it. ... I’m a James Franklin fan. It’s a huge loss, especially the way that guy’s been playing right now. You can enjoy this win, but at the same time, a guy like me, I really can’t, because I know most of what I do is because of James Franklin.”

With Franklin unavailable Saturday when No. 22 Florida arrives for an 11:21 a.m. kickoff at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, redshirt freshman Maty Mauk is expected to start at quarterback.

“I’ve got faith in Maty Mauk,” Washington said. “He’s going to step up. He has to lead this team right now. He doesn’t have a choice.”

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