Jim McElwain put in a lot of work to snag Martez Ivey last February. Ivey came in and dominated, appearing to be close to breaking into the starting lineup.
But the latest mark on Ivey’s timeline isn’t so good. Ivey came to practice with a sore leg, and McElwain announced that after it had been looked at, he would need to have his leg scoped. The problem stemmed from a pre-existing injury, and the procedure will be done tomorrow.
UPDATE 6:29pm: Ivey’s father has told GatorCountry.com that Martez had surgery on his meniscus when he was in high school. The scope that will be performed tomorrow is to “clean up that issue”.
UPDATE 2:10pm Friday: Ivey’s father spoke with InsideTheGators’ Landon Watnick, saying that the arthroscopic surgery went very well. Ivey will only miss a couple of weeks. and Florida staff hopes he’s back for the Gators’ SEC opener at Kentucky.
The good news is that it doesn’t appear to be a long time deal. McElwain seemed pretty confident that Ivey would not be out the whole season, or even close to it. But then again, McElwain isn’t a doctor; the surgery could unearth something more serious, in which case Ivey may be shut down, forced to redshirt and start fresh again next year. This seems unlikely, but it’s a possibility the Gators have to prepare for.
Anyway, thanks in large part to the mess Will Muschamp left on the offensive line, Ivey’s injury hurts not just because of how talented he is, but in terms of sheer numbers. Highly touted Fordham transfer Mason Halter, who Ivey had leapfrogged on the depth chart, will reclaim his starting left tackle position for now, while David Sharpe will remain as the starter at right tackle. Trip Thurman, who McElwain had previously said needed to learn all five positions, could also see some time at tackle.
Assuming McElwain is right and the medical team’s initial assumption is correct that the injury won’t be season ending, it’s certainly an injury Florida could overcome. The Gators won’t need Ivey for either New Mexico State or East Carolina. And a road trip to Kentucky followed by a home game against Tennessee follow the Gators’ two tuneups to start the season. In other words, this could have happened at a much worse time than this.
But I want Ivey back as soon as possible, of course. So get well, Martez.