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Mark Stoops gives injury updates ahead of spring football

Devin Leary is currently practicing, a big development after he missed most of last season due to injury.

NCAA Football: Florida State at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats have officially kicked off spring football!

While 2022 may not have ended as expected, there is promise for a special 2023 season with Devin Leary in the mix following the absence of star Will Levis.

With the spring practice underway, the Cats are down several impactful names, but most of them are to be expected following offseason surgeries.

During his Monday press conference to preview the spring football season, Stoops gave updates on several players battling

Brenden Bates is a name to keep an eye on. He is out with a torn labrum after logging limited reps in 11 of 12 games last season. The 6-foot-5 tight end ended the season with 99 yards and a touchdown.

“He’ll be fine,” Stoops said of Bates. “That’s a tough position. Those tight ends have to do a lot, and they get banged up. Bates will be fine.”

Ramon Jefferson, a running back expected to have a role with the Cats, was another name that was away from the team after tearing his ACL in Game 1. The Sam Houston transfer is still unable to do full-contact drills but is able to do some running.

Backup defensive lineman Kahlil Saunders and backup offensive tackle Nik Hall are currently sidelined due to injury as well.

Potential starting defensive back Vito Tisdale is practicing after missing all of last season due to a knee injury sustained in spring football.

The big name to watch for is Devin Leary, who should be the most impactful player on the field for Kentucky this upcoming season after transferring over from NC State, where he suffered a torn pec muscle last season.

Thankfully, Leary appears to be fully recovered and has been able to practice thus far.

“He looked really good and was able to go through basically an entire practice,” Stoops said of Leary. “I’m sure that the trainers are watching him and limiting him some, but to my eye, it was basically an entire practice, and he was just fine and looked really good.

Expectations are high in Lexington for this upcoming season, so it’s good to hear guys like Leary and Tisdale are getting work in on the practice field!

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