Philip Lutzenkirchen Surgery Could Rule Out Spring Practice Appearance

TUSCALOOSA AL - NOVEMBER 26: Philip Lutzenkirchen #43 of the Auburn Tigers reacts after pulling in a touchdown reception against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 26 2010 in Tuscaloosa Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Auburn could be without automatic red zone touchdown Philip Lutzenkirchen during spring ball.

The Auburn Tigers could be without goal line assassin Philip Lutzenkirchen during spring practice. The senior tight end is still in a sling, AL.com's Charles Goldberg reports, after having surgery to correct a torn labrum two weeks ago.

Lutzenkirchen, who requested an evaluation from the NFL before deciding to return for one more year, had 23 receptions and 238 receiving yards last year, both good for third on the team. His seven touchdowns were a Tigers record for a tight end in one season, and his 14 touchdowns are already a career record for an Auburn tight end.

He's become one of the offense's most critical pieces, and especially now that the Tigers appear to be converting from a spread to a more meat-and-potatoes scheme minus Gus Malzahn and Michael Dyer, the tight end could be more valuable than ever.

For more on War Eagle football, visit Auburn blog Track Em Tigers, plus SEC blog Team Speed Kills.

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