The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

November 6, 2012

Auburn's Lutzenkirchen reduced to cheerleader role

— AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Philip Lutzenkirchen faced the tough choice of shutting down his Auburn career or risking far bigger problems down the line.

The Tigers tight end chose to have season-ending hip surgery to repair a torn labrum and remove three bone spurs two weeks ago, ending a frustrating final year when he couldn't hold his blocks as long as he used to and felt slower in running routes.

Now, Lutzenkirchen is rehabilitating trying to get ready for the Senior Bowl in January if possible, or at least the NFL combine to get ready for the draft. He said doctors told him putting off surgery might have led to hip replacement before his 30th birthday.

This is an especially tough week for Lutzenkirchen, who was one of the Tigers' most popular players and accomplished tight ends.

The Marietta, Ga., native will have to watch from the sidelines when Auburn (2-7, 0-6 Southeastern Conference) tries to takes on No. 5 Georgia Saturday night.

"Those are my rivals, my buddies over there playing for Georgia and it's going to be tough being on the sidelines for that one," said Lutzenkirchen, who hadn't previously spoken to reporters since Auburn announced his season was over. " I'm just going to have to be as supportive as I can. I might still be the most fired up guy on that field even though I'll be on the sidelines. I'm just excited to root my guys on."

Auburn could certainly use Lutzenkirchen on the field. He remains second on the team with 15 catches for 139 yards despite missing the past three games. His 14 career touchdown catches is a school record for tight ends, and his game-winning touchdown catch against Alabama to keep the national title run going was one of the season's more memorable plays. It sparked an impromptu end zone dance later dubbed "The Lutzie" that's drawn more than 105,000 views on YouTube.

Text Only
Sports
Poll

Do you think Athens-Limestone County is better prepared than in April 2011 to provide shelter from a major tornado?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee