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James Franklin will have shoulder surgery, miss spring football

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(Charles Smith/AP)

It's a tough time to be a Missouri follower.

First the basketball team is upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by Norfolk State; now, quarterback James Franklin will have surgery on his throwing shoulder and will miss the rest of spring football.

Franklin injured the shoulder last week while trying to recover a fumble during practice. He took himself off the field to receive treatment and hasn't been back. The official diagnosis is a sprained glenohumeral (GH) joint and team doctors and Franklin decided that surgery would be the best option in order to preserve the quarterback's long-term sustainability.

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"We're disappointed for James naturally," said head coach Gary Pinkel in a release. "But this is absolutely the right thing to do, and we all know he'll be in great hands, as we have the best doctors and trainers in the nation. James has an outstanding work ethic, and he'll be able to get past this setback just fine. We expect him to be 100 percent and ready to go for the season. Until then, our younger guys will benefit from more reps and more work with the number one offense, and we'll look at that as a positive."

With Franklin out, redshirt freshman Corbin Berkstresser is the No. 1 quarterback and will take the bulk of the reps. Ashton Glaser, who's had his own problems this spring, is the only other scholarship quarterback on the roster. Alex Demczak, a sophomore walk-on, will work with the third string.

Franklin will have surgery Friday and while Missouri won't announce a date of return until after the procedure, offensive coordinator David Yost told the Columbia Daily Tribune that Franklin could return as soon as April 3, when the Tigers' resume practices after spring break.

"There's no reason to rush back and play this Saturday," Yost told the paper. "He'll be in a little pain initially. But we don't have a game this Saturday. That's the difference. You don't have to rush back. Let's get it feeling good, get everything in the right place and get all the strength right and then we can go on."

Franklin threw for 2,872 yards, rushed for 981 yards land had 35 total touchdowns last season.

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