Eric Kendricks out until spring after ankle surgery

UCLA’s impressive quartet of linebackers is short one member. Junior Eric Kendricks underwent surgery on his right ankle Friday, and will miss the Dec. 31 Sun Bowl against Virginia Tech.

Third in the conference with 106 tackles, Kendricks missed one game this season as he played through numerous injuries this season, including a shoulder sprain. He has struggled with pain in his right ankle for months, and had a procedure on it after spring practices.

The ankle should be weight-bearing again within the next couple of days.

“We expect him to make really great progress and be back for spring ball,” said head coach Jim Mora, who added that there was a lot of “back and forth” about when to do the surgery. “He hates to have to miss the bowl game, but it was just extremely painful for the kid. He just wouldn’t have been effective. The best thing to do is just go get it done right now.”

Isaako Savaiinaea will get his second start of the season in place of Kendricks. The true freshman has 24 tackles this season, including one for loss.

Whether or not Kendricks will be 100 percent healthy for spring practices remains uncertain.

“It depends on how his rehab goes,” Mora said. “I think the prudent thing to do is to take it as slow as we need to do to make sure he’s ready for summer. You know how EK is; he’s going to push, push, push.”

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  • LTEfan

    Jack, has Kendricks announced that he is going to return to UCLA for his senior season rather than declare for the draft?

  • EncinitasBruin

    HOpe and trust his recovery is swift and complete. I’d think this would cause him to stay at UCLA for his senior season. With he and Jack anchoring the LB crew, we will still be beastly in the Front Seven…

  • Joe Blow

    Can’t believe he’d be afraid of VT. I mean, it’s only one more game.

    • Toejam For Life

      Just like Walker and Martin, while initially faking their injuries, were afraid of and were tired of Barr and Marsh spanking them all night!

      • Joe Blow

        Difference is Walker and Martin were afraid of two high quality players. VT is NOTHING.

  • Jakub Ramir

    Your point is correct ms BlowJo* he’s not afraid. He’s letting his understudy take the helm. He’s confident the team will be fine.

  • Gang-green II

    Duck fan here . . . sorry to hear MK will miss the bowl game, he is a stud of a linebacker. Hope he heals up well and gets back to it next season. Good luck in your bowl game, Bruins, and rep the Pac!