Georgia's Battle out with torn ACL

Updated: September 13, 2009, 8:13 PM ET
By Mark Schlabach | ESPN.com

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia starting defensive end Rod Battle will miss the rest of the season after tearing the ACL in his knee in Saturday night's 41-37 victory over South Carolina.

Battle, a senior from Atlanta, had started the first two games this season and 22 in his career. He had three tackles this season.

Georgia lost a starting lineman to season-ending knee injuries in each of its two games. In the No. 20 Bulldogs' 24-14 loss at Oklahoma State, starting left tackle Trinton Sturdivant tore the ACL in his left knee for the second straight season.

"It's sad," Georgia coach Mark Richt said in a teleconference with reporters Sunday. "It's just sad for Roderick first and foremost. But it's tough on us. It's why you recruit and train players. You try to get prepared for these moments. You don't want them, but you have to prepare for them."

Georgia will get back sophomore defensive end Justin Houston, who served a two-game suspension to start the season. Houston, perhaps the team's best pass rusher, will return in time for Saturday's key SEC game at Arkansas.

"We're thankful he'll be able to play," Richt said. "He certainly made a mistake and paid the price. He was hurting and really wanted to play and now he'll get a chance."

Mark Schlabach | email

College Football and Basketball