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Tennessee MLB Darrin Kirkland Jr. Out For Season After Surgery To Repair Torn Meniscus

One of Tennessee's top defensive players is out for the season after suffering a torn meniscus during practice last week.

Darrin Kirkland Jr., the Vols' starting middle linebacker, elected to have surgery to repair the injury on Wednesday.

That decision means he will be out for the entire 2017 season. broke the news earlier today:

After suffering a non-contact knee injury a week ago today, sources tell that junior linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. will miss the entire 2017 season following the results from Wednesday's surgery.

Doctors repaired a torn meniscus in Kirkland's knee Wednesday. By repairing the menicous instead of removing it, the junior's recovery time is pushed back from several weeks to potentially several months.

Kirkland was named to Athlon's Preseason Third-Team All-SEC roster, and Phil Steele's Preseason Fourth-Team All-SEC ahead of this season. As a freshman in 2015, he played in 13 games, starting 10, and recorded 66 total tackles (6.5 tackles for loss), and three sacks. Kirkland was named to the 2015 Freshman All-SEC team for his efforts.

Last season, he was limited to eight games and six starts due to injury, totaling 45 tackles (five tackles for loss), and a sack.

Redshirt junior Colton Jumper is likely in line to take over for Kirkland. He played in all 13 games for UT last year, starting seven, and finished with 61 tackles and four tackles for loss in 2016.