Kentucky redshirt freshman receiver E.J. Fields will miss all or most of the 2009 season with a torn ligament in his foot. UK Coach Rich Brooks said Fields is scheduled to undergo surgery on Thursday.
Fields, a 6-foot-1, 198-pounder from Frankfort, redshirted last fall, but he was challenging for a spot in the wide receiver rotation. Fields will be ineligible for a second consecutive redshirt, but he could apply for a sixth year of eligibility after his senior season.
Brooks also said that junior running back Derrick Locke should be ready to go for the Sept. 5 opener against Miami University. Locke had missed some practice time with swelling in his surgically repaired knee.
UK has two other backs nursing ankle sprains: senior fullback John Conner and freshman tailback Jonathan George. Brooks said he won't know until later this week whether Conner's injury will put him in jeopardy of missing the Miami game. Brooks ruled George out for the opener.
Kentucky's open date following the Miami game (before its home opener versus Louisville on Sept. 19) affords Brooks some time to make a decision about who to redshirt.
"In my mind, we've got almost a month to make those decisions," Brooks said. "Injuries and a lot of things can change. We'll just try and get through the first game and make some determinations."