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Former Georgia football coach Vince Dooley ready to rehab after recent surgery

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Former Georgia football coach Vince Dooley underwent hip surgery for a hairline fracture on Friday after slipping while working out last week.

He was released from St. Mary’s Hospital on Sunday after spending much of Saturday watching football including the Bulldogs’ home win over Kentucky.

“From 12 o' clock on,” Dooley said. “I went to bed with the bottle throwing up in Knoxville.”

Dooley attended Kirby Smart’s press conference a week ago and was to make his regular appearance at the UGA Bookstore before Saturday’s home game, but slipped on a rug and hit his hip Wednesday while doing a backpedaling exercise for balance on the third floor of his Athens home, he said Monday morning.

“Whenever you back pedal, you’ve got to make sure you do it on a smooth surface,” he said.

Former Georgia coach Vince Dooley on the field while UGA honored the first five Black Bulldog football players before the start of an NCAA college football game between South Carolina and Georgia in Athens, Ga., on Sept. 18, 2021.
Former Georgia coach Vince Dooley on the field while UGA honored the first five Black Bulldog football players before the start of an NCAA college football game between South Carolina and Georgia in Athens, Ga., on Sept. 18, 2021.

After experiencing pain, he checked with orthopedic surgeon Mixon Robinson, who played defensive end for Dooley, and an MRI showed the hairline fracture.

It was determined to go ahead and have surgery because letting it heal on its own could put the 89-year old Dooley at risk if he injured the hip again.

“They put some screws in there and they put in a plate or something,” Dooley said. “It would be really bad if I put a crack in it again. It could heal itself in six or seven months, but more than likely I could whack it again.”

Dooley was on the field that bears his name prior to the South Carolina game on Sept. 18 when the school recognized the football program’s first five Black players 50 years after they integrated the program. He hopes to be back in Sanford Stadium for the next home game on Nov. 6 against Missouri.

He’s now rehabbing and still hopes to make his commitment to attend Danny Wuerffel’s charity golf tournament Oct. 28-29 at Sea Island Resort ahead of the Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville.

“It’s going to take a while,” Dooley said. “The great thing is that (Georgia director of sports medicine) Ron Courson will squeeze me in when the players are not there. Historically, I’ve had good rehabilitation, but I had no choice but to go ahead and do it, but I hated to do it over the weekend, but I’d be falling behind.”

Dooley said he’s using a walker at home for now with his wife Barbara and daughters Deanna and Denise “telling me what I need to be doing but they don't realize I've been around a long time."

This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: Former Georgia football coach Vince Dooley undergoes hip surgery