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Wright to undergo season-ending surgery

Posted: October 10, 2012 at 7:23 p.m.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/MICHAEL WOODS --03/15/2012-- University of Arkansas defensive back Tenarius Wright works out with the team Thursday during practice at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville.

— Arkansas defensive end Tenarius Wright will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery, Razorbacks coach John L. Smith said Wednesday on the Southeastern Conference football coaches’ call.

The redshirt senior underwent a MRI for his injured shoulder on Monday. He missed Arkansas’ game at Auburn last Saturday.

“He had to make a decision on what to do and he’s decided he’s going to go get it fixed,” Smith said. “So he’ll be out for the year.”

Wright is the fourth Arkansas player to suffer a season-ending injury and the second defender to do so this week. Linebacker Alonzo Highsmith underwent surgery on Monday for a foot injury suffered in the first half at Auburn.

Highsmith and Wright were the Razorbacks’ opening game starters at linebacker, though Wright was moved back to his original defensive end position earlier this season. Wright missed significant practice time in the preseason with a shoulder injury, but was cleared to play prior to the first game.

Neither Wright nor Highsmith qualifies for a medical redshirt, meaning their college playing days are over barring a waiver from the NCAA. Both were elected team captains in the off-season.

In five games this season, Wright recorded 28 tackles. Highsmith was Arkansas’ leading tackler through six games with 54 stops, including four for loss and two sacks.

Fullbacks Kiero Small (broken foot) and Kody Walker (broken leg) are also out for the season. In all, 11 Arkansas starters have missed significant playing time with an injury this season, including nine who have missed at least one game.

On his weekly radio show, Smith said tight end Chris Gragg won't play in the Razorbacks’ game against Kentucky on Saturday. Gragg, a redshirt senior, has missed the last two games after suffering a deep bone bruise to his leg in the first quarter of Arkansas’ game against Rutgers on Sept. 22.

Running back Ronnie Wingo is questionable for the game with a shoulder injury.

“We’ve had enough (injuries) for two or three teams,” Smith said.

Cornerback Tevin Mitchel, who has missed four games since a vicious hit in the fourth quarter of the Razorbacks’ game against ULM on Sept. 8, will play Saturday, defensive coordinator Paul Haynes said Wednesday following practice. After the apparent concussion suffered, Mitchel had his gall bladder removed while in a Little Rock hospital last month.

Arkansas, a preseason top 10 team, is 2-4 this season and 1-2 in SEC play. The Razorbacks snapped a four-game losing streak with a 24-7 win over Auburn.

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