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Friday, March 26, 2010

Early practice notes: Daren Bates played through a torn labrum last year

Auburn safety/linebacker Daren Bates played the latter half of his SEC All-Freshman season in considerable pain after tearing the labrum in his left shoulder against LSU.

"I didn't really tell the trainers because I didn't want to not play," Bates said after practice Friday.

Bates had surgery for the problem in January and is limited to doing light drills and 7-on-7 work this spring. He likely won't face contact until two-a-days in August and has to build up his weight again. After surgery, he lost 13 pounds. He wants to be back in the 215-220 range.

In the meantime, he'll adjust to a new position. The sophomore will play a linebacker spot that head coach Gene Chizik has said is more like a nickel position.

"It's all right. You've just got to adjust," Bates said. "I still have my safety tendencies. Instead of shuffling, I'll backpedal. But as time goes on, I'll catch on to that."

Some other quick notes:
  • Auburn practiced in helmets and shorts today. Tomorrow is the team's first full day in pads.
  • Gene Chizik didn't know if Auburn would do any kind of mini-scrimmage tomorrow. He's going to look at the injury report before making a decision.
  • Demond Washington, who moved to safety in a pinch last season, is back at corner.
  • Mario Fannin is looking forward to playing tailback again. "It's a blessing," he said. "Being able to play tailback here at Auburn, a lot of great guys have come through. Being able to be a part of that tradition is pretty big to me."
  • Senior Bart Eddins has been working with the ones at left guard in place of Mike Berry (knee), who has done light work since offseason surgery.
  • WR Emory Blake is working at the slot position. He's there with Kodi Burns, Jay Wisner and Derek Winter.
I'll be back with more later.

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