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Florida linebacker Stamper has hand surgery

GAINESVILLE — Florida could regain two starters this week, but might be without another key player when the Gators host Miami on Saturday night.

Redshirt junior LB Ryan Stamper had surgery Sunday morning on his left thumb and is questionable for the Miami game. Stamper, who had two tackles in Saturday's season-opening win over Hawaii, was injured in the first half but continued to play. He started in place of injured LB Brandon Spikes.

"He's a tough guy," coach Urban Meyer said. "He went in and actually played after injuring it right before the first half (ended). I didn't even really know about it. And then they wrapped it up. Our medical staff was good enough to come in and operate on it Sunday, so his chances of playing will actually go up."

Stamper had pins inserted in his thumb and will be in a "functional" cast for approximately four weeks.

WR Percy Harvin (heel) and Spikes (foot), who missed the opener, are both probable for Saturday. OL Jim Tartt's shoulder is still bothering him, but Meyer expects him to play.

'canes on the brain: Shortly after Saturday's win, some players were already talking about the excitement surrounding this week's game, including QB Tim Tebow, who said he considered attending Miami until he visited and there were about 30,000 fans in the stands for a big game.

Meyer said coaches will remind the players this week to keep their mouths in check.

"Oh yeah, we do that every week, and I'm sure there will be a lot of that (stuff) going on," Meyer said.

"We're just going to do what we do best, and that's coach as hard as we can. Last year's team, I might have been concerned about that. I think this year's team, when the ball's snapped they like to play, as opposed to telling people how hard they play. So that's a positive so far."

Antonya English can be reached at [email protected]

Florida linebacker Stamper has hand surgery 08/31/08 [Last modified: Sunday, August 31, 2008 9:39pm]
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