Bryant made headlines in June when he posted on Instagram a picture of his injured left knee.
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Washington tight end Hunter Bryant, an ESPN Freshman All-American in 2017, is expected to miss the majority of the 2018 season after having knee surgery in early June, UW coach Chris Petersen confirmed Wednesday.
“Hunter did have surgery,” Petersen said at Pac-12 Football Media Day. “We’ll just see how he progresses. He’s not going to be ready at the start of the season. It may end up being his redshirt year, especially with the four games he can play (with new NCAA rule). But he will not be ready at the start of the season and it will be a month or two before we can really see where he’s at.”
The Seattle Times reported earlier this summer that Bryant had surgery. On June 9, Bryant made headlines when he posted on Instagram a picture of his left leg propped up, completely wrapped and immobilized, with crutches in the background. Text on the post read: “the saddest thing is i can’t hoop for 9 months” and accompanied by three sad/crying emojis.
Bryant initially hurt his knee against UCLA in late October last season. Sources at the time indicated Bryant had a partially torn ACL.
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Bryant suited up for the Fiesta Bowl against Penn State but only made a brief appearance on the field. He then went throughout workouts with the team during the spring, though he was limited at times.
He aggravated the knee injury again this summer during a workout, Petersen said.
“The surgery went really, really well,” Petersen said. “It’s a really unique injury. They rehabed it, and it was really going well for him to do spring football. And then in a workout it just kind of swelled up and it wasn’t acting right. And then they did decide to go in there (for surgery).
“They (doctors) felt really good about what they did. And our doctors usually don’t come out saying, ‘We feel really good,’ but they did. So I think his long-term prognosis is really good; it’s just going to take some time to get him back.”
A former Eastside Catholic star, Bryant was expected to be one of the top targets this fall for UW quarterback Jake Browning. Despite missing the final month of the regular season, Bryant still finished third on the team in receptions last fall, with 22 catches for 331 yards and one touchdown.