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Reports: Florida’s Luke Del Rio has MCL sprain, expected to miss only weeks

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Florida’s starting QB might not miss that much time.

NCAA Football: North Texas at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After sustaining a knee injury on Saturday against North Texas, Florida’s Luke Del Rio is expected to be out for weeks, not months, according to multiple reports.

Zach Abolverdi of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s SEC Country reported early Sunday afternoon that Del Rio’s injury was believed to be a knee sprain that will keep him out for two or three weeks. Later in the day, Mike Huguenin of Gridiron Now reported Del Rio’s injury is an MCL sprain in his left knee, and that he is expected to return for Florida’s game against LSU on October 8,

Scout writer Bob Redman also previously reported behind a paywall ($) that Del Rio was expected to miss two weeks.

Huguenin writes that Del Rio “should be back” for Florida’s game against the Tigers. If he is, it would narrowly avert the likely world-ending possibility of two Purdue transfers — Florida backup Austin Appleby, likely the Gators’ starter in Del Rio’s absence, and Danny Etling, who has usurped Brandon Harris as LSU’s No. 1 signal-caller — starting in an SEC game in The Swamp.

If Del Rio misses three games, he would be on pace to return in five weeks, after a Homecoming contest with Missouri, but before Florida’s October 29 game against Georgia. Either way, all reports suggest that Del Rio will miss Florida’s road trips to Tennessee and Vanderbilt over the next two weeks.

Del Rio left Saturday’s game in the third quarter after being hit at the knees by North Texas’s Joseph Wheeler while releasing a pass. Del Rio was helped to his feet and partially off the field by trainers, but finished his walk to the locker room under his own power.

Florida coach Jim McElwain implied that Del Rio would miss significant time in postgame comments, but a two- or three-week recovery for him would be far better than the prognosis of a season-ending injury offered by initial fears of a fully torn ACL or MCL.