Alabama linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton hopes to make a quick turnaround after tearing his ACL in last month’s SEC championship game.
Hamilton, a junior, told SEC Country during the Crimson Tide’s media day Saturday in Tampa that he expects to return to the field “by the end of spring ball” after suffering the knee injury in the first half of a 54-16 win over Florida.
On the play, Hamilton was trying to change directions to make a tackle in the flat in pass coverage when his left knee gave out despite going untouched.
Hamilton told AL.com that he “got stuck” in the turf on the Georgia Dome field in Atlanta, which he said led to the knee tear on the play.
“I knew right away,” Hamilton said.
Just over a month later, Hamilton already is off crutches and gradually starting the recovery process.
Before the injury, Hamilton was having the best season of his collegiate career with 64 tackles, including nine for loss and two sacks, two interceptions and one forced fumble.
Junior Rashaan Evans, who began his Alabama career as a pass-rush specialist at outside linebacker, has since replaced Hamilton at the position. Senior linebacker Reuben Foster, who won the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker, starts at the other inside linebacker position for the Crimson Tide.
In October, Alabama lost senior safety Eddie Jackson, another defensive starter, for the season with a fractured leg.
Spring practice for Alabama ends with its annual A-Day spring game near the end of April.
Alabama plays Clemson in the College Football Playoff national championship for the second straight season Monday night.
(You can follow Kevin Connell on Twitter @_KevinConnell)
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