Georgia DE Thompson injures leg, ankle, out for season

Updated: August 20, 2003, 8:26 PM ET

ATHENS, Georgia - Georgia defensive end Will Thompson will miss the 2003 season after suffering ankle and leg injuries in practice.

Thompson underwent surgery Wednesday to stabilize a fractured left fibula. Doctors at St. Mary's Hospital also found ligament damage in addition to a dislocated left ankle.

A 6-3, 240-pound junior, Thompson was penciled in as Georgia's No. 1 defensive end after spring drills. Last season, he started 12 of 14 games and recorded seven sacks. He also posted 65 tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception.

"He was a heart-and-soul kind of guy," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "He was a very great example of how we want everybody to play. Anytime you lose a guy like Will, you lose depth and a tremendous amount of experience and production."

Richt also announced that redshirt freshman receiver Cedric Haywood may have torn his right ACL while returning kicks in practice. The 6-1, 183-pounder was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Wednesday night.

"He was separating from the pack and moving into the big boys pack," Richt said. "In practice, he was doing things that got everybody excited."

The Bulldogs are ranked ninth in the preseason USA Today/ESPN poll after capping a 13-1 campaign with a 26-13 victory over Florida State in the Sugar Bowl.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index