OU football: Neck injury will sideline center Ben Habern for spring practice

Habern joins running back Dominique Whaley as nonparticipants for spring ball. Status on wide receiver Jaz Reynolds remains uncertain.
BY TRAVIS HANEY, Staff Writer, thaney@opubco.com Modified: January 30, 2012 at 7:01 pm •  Published: January 30, 2012
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NORMAN — Oklahoma center Ben Habern dealt with an injury-filled junior season in 2011, and it has spilled over into the early part of 2012.

Habern had neck surgery last week, as first reported Monday evening by SoonerScoop.com. The school's Rivals website said the issue is not considered career-threatening, but Habern, a captain last season, will miss the spring.

A fractured forearm cost him a large chunk of 2011, but guard Gabe Ikard moved over to fill in ably for Habern. He will likely do the same throughout the spring, giving emerging guard Adam Shead a chance to grow on the left side of the line.

Habern joins at least one other Sooner who has been ruled out for the spring. Running back Dominique Whaley, who fractured his ankle in October, will not be ready by March. He is progressing, though, and the staff is hopeful he will return for preseason camp in August.

It's up in the air whether receiver Jaz Reynolds, who suffered a late-season kidney injury, will make it back for the spring.

The Sooners will begin spring practice March 5 and end with the annual Red and White Game on April 14. Tickets for the scrimmage will go on sale Wednesday. They will be $5 apiece until April 10, when they will increase to $10 each.



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