Tennessee Vols tight end has back surgery for herniated disk

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee tight end Austin Pope says he had surgery Thursday to repair a herniated disk in his back.

Pope shared the update in a Twitter post, saying he had been dealing with a lot of nerve pain stemming from his lower back.

An MRI exam on Monday showed Pope had a herniated disk between the L3-L4 vertebrae, requiring surgery. Pope also had a different herniatated disk two years ago repaired surgically.

“I love this game, my teammates, and my coaches and I will do anything to help this program succeed,” Pope wrote. “Prayers would be appreciated. Minor setback for a major comeback.”

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The 6-foot-4, 235-pound redshirt senior has started 14 of his 33 career games and is primarily a run blocker. He had four catches for 21 yards last season.

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