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Charlie Strong expects injured Texas OL to be healthy for opener

After numerous ankle injuries, the news is finally positive for the starting five.

texas ol spring
Texas offensive linemen during the spring
Texas athletics

The most significant injuries during fall camp have all been along the offensive line, but head coach Charlie Strong said on Monday that he expects each of the three starters to be ready when the ‘Horns kick off against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish next Sunday.

Junior offensive tackle Tristan Nickelson suffered his ankle injury a little bit less than two weeks ago and was back at practice over the weekend, according to Strong.

The more significant injury is that of freshman center Zach Shackelford, which has kept him out for weeks now. The Texas head coach indicated that he expects Shackelford to return to practice this week for the first time since his injury. He is reportedly at 80-85 percent at this time.

Sophomore left guard Patrick Vahe suffered what was apparently the most minor ankle injury of the three last week and was reportedly walking around without a boot recently, which is notable since the training staff will often put players in a walking boot even for minor foot or leg injuries.

The one offensive linemen who will not return for some time is redshirt freshman Buck Major, who needed surgery after suffering a ruptured flexor tendon in the ring finger of his left hand.

The recovery time for that injury is typically 10-12 weeks, so Major will miss most of the football season, if not the entirety of it.

Other players who have missed time but are expected to return this week include junior wide receiver Lorenzo Joe, senior defensive tackle Paul Boyette, and senior defensive end Bryce Cottrell.