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Auburn has few long-term injury concerns coming out of spring

Auburn defensive back Josh Holsey takes a quick drink break during spring practice on March 29, 2016.
Auburn defensive back Josh Holsey takes a quick drink break during spring practice on March 29, 2016. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn’s roster should be at full strength when the team regroups for fall camp. Or close to it.

The Tigers made it through spring practice without any serious injuries.

Defensive Carlton Davis sat out A-Day with an injured finger, but avoided surgery by sitting out the final two practices.

Quarterback Tyler Queen, who missed all of last season after surgery on his elbow, reinjured his arm during a spring scrimmage. Queen had successful surgery on the shoulder earlier this month.

“It went well,” Malzahn said of the procedure. “I expect him to recover fully and hopefully be back for fall camp.”

Malzahn also sounds optimistic about the small group of Tigers who were limited or missed spring camp.

Kerryon Johnson had offseason shoulder surgery, but made it back on the practice field in a limited capacity for Auburn’s final practice of the spring. Malzahn said Johnson did a nice job this spring staying engaged and helping younger teammates like Malik Miller from the sidelines.

Running backs Jovon Robinson and Roc Thomas battled for the number one spot on the depth chart through the spring. Robinson has the edge in the competition going into fall camp, but Johnson’s won’t be a non-factor if he can make up for lost time in the weight room.

“He’s a kid that really needs to get in that weight room because he’s always been someone that’s gone from football to basketball and then he didn’t play basketball his last year in high school because of a shoulder injury,” Auburn running backs coach Tim Horton said. “And then he didn’t get the offseason work there. I don’t know if missing the field time hurts as much as missing the weight room time because we would like him to become a more physical and more developed player that could take those 20-25 carries a game, if he had to.”

Safety Tray Matthews is on a similar track in his recovery from shoulder surgery. New defensive coordinator Kevin Steele is excited to have his secondary back at full strength when he gets Matthews and Josh Holsey back for the fall. Holsey re-tore his surgically repaired ACL in week two against Jacksonville State and was limited throughout the spring.

The senior shared an update on his rehab Tuesday on Twitter, tweeting out a picture of a cartoon trashcan along with a short message.

“Just in case y'all wanted to know where that knee brace will be for summer and fall….”

Auburn wide receivers Kyle Davis (knee) and Stanton Truitt (shoulder) are also expected to be 100 percent for fall camp. The coaching staff thought about clearing Davis for contact towards the end of spring, but didn’t want to risk the early enrollee reinjured his knee.

The biggest injury question mark for the fall is defensive back Jeremiah Dinson. Dinson suffered multiple injuries, three torn ligaments in his knee and a separated shoulder, on a single play against Texas A&M. Dinson’s shoulder should be fine, but with an expected recovery time of six to nine months for a torn ACL, the knee could force him to miss time.

“It was a very tough injury, a very severe and tough injury, but his goal is to make it back and be ready,” Malzahn said. “We're hoping that he does that. He was playing very good football as a true freshman and he's got a lot of talent."

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