Jeff Thomas‘ return to South Beach has hit a bit of an injury hurdle.
Miami confirmed Tuesday that Thomas was one of two Hurricanes wide receivers who have undergone what was described as “minor arthroscopic knee surgery on their right knee.” The other receiver to go under the scope was Brian Hightower.
The specific injury wasn’t detailed by the program, nor was a timetable for a return to football activities for either player.
The medical hiccup for Thomas is the latest bump in the road for the very talented receiver.
In late December of last year, Illinois announced that Jeff Thomas had signed a financial aid agreement and would enroll at the university for the spring 2019 semester. That move came a month or so after the talented wide receiver was dismissed by then-Miami head coach Mark Richt for unspecified reasons.
Richt, however, abruptly retired on Dec. 30 and was replaced by former UM defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, who had taken over as the head coach at Temple a couple of weeks earlier before abandoning the Owls. The combination of Richt’s retirement and Diaz’s return apparently cracked the door on a future for Thomas with the Hurricanes as it was reported in mid-January that there was a possibility the receiver will return; that possibility turned into a reality a couple of days later as the wide receiver reneged on his commitment to the Illini and returned to the Hurricanes.
Last week, Thomas spoke to the media for the first time since his about-face.
At the time of his departure/dismissal in November, Thomas was leading the Hurricanes in receptions (35) and receiving yards (563). The sophomore’s 16.1 yards per reception were second on the team while his three touchdown receptions were tied for third.
As a true freshman the year before, he averaged an even 22 yards per catch on his 17 receptions and caught a pair of touchdown passes.
As a true freshman this past season, Hightower started two of the 10 games in which he played. In that action, Hightower caught four passes for 60 yards and a touchdown.