It’s been a couple of weeks since Missouri quarterback James Franklin underwent shoulder surgery, and head coach Gary Pinkel is optimistic his starter will be available for the season opener in early September.
At this point in time, however, Pinkel has stopped short of stating with any degree of certainty that Franklin won’t miss any game time.
In his first public comments on Franklin’s prognosis since the player underwent the medical procedure March 23, Pinkel said that Franklin should be able to resume throwing in 12 weeks, which would put the timetable for a return somewhere around early July. There’s also the possibility that the current time frame could be accelerated, Pinkel said.
But, again, Pinkel and the football program are taking the cautiously optimistic approach when it comes to the Sept. 1 game against Southeastern Louisiana.
“We’re expecting that he won’t [miss any games],” Pinkel said by way of the Columbia Daily Tribune. “But to say that can’t happen, I can’t say that. We feel that he can get ready to play. Bottom line, we’ll have to wait and see what happens.”
That said, Pinkel added that “[u]nless something happens, we’re certainly planning on him playing Day 1 in the fall.”
Franklin suffered what was initially diagnosed as a sprained right (throwing) shoulder during a spring practice session March 13. Further medical evaluations determined that surgery was necessary, knocking the junior out for the remainder of the spring.
Franklin won Mizzou’s starting job last spring, and then proceeded to stuff the stat sheets with 2,865 passing yards, 981 rushing yards and 36 total touchdowns — 21 passing, 15 rushing — in his first year as the Tigers’ starter.
Given Franklin’s experience and the opponent for the 2012 opener, his availability for the first game of the season is not critical. With Georgia, Arizona State, South Carolina and UCF all coming in quick succession in September? It’s imperative Franklin gets healthy sooner rather than later as Mizzou enters its first season as a member of the SEC.