- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Virginia Tech starting cornerback Antone Exum will not be available for the season opener against Alabama as he continues to rehab his injured right knee.
Athletic trainer Mike Goforth told reporters in Blacksburg, Va., on Monday night that Exum went for a follow-up appointment with Dr. James Andrews in Florida and was not given clearance to play. Andrews, known as one of the top orthopedic surgeons in the country, performed Exum's knee surgery.
Exum will have another follow-up exam in one-and-a-half to two months, meaning he could miss all of September as well. The second-team All-ACC selection a year ago tore his ACL, lateral and medial meniscus, and fractured a bone in his knee during a pickup basketball game in January.
Both Exum and coach Frank Beamer had held out hope that Exum could be healthy enough to play against the Tide on Aug. 31 in Atlanta. But rehab from this injury generally takes eight-to-12 months.
"It's just one of those things that takes time," Beamer said. "It just needs to be right for him and for us."
With Exum out, Virginia Tech will have to rely on some young players against one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Sophomore Donaldven Manning and true freshman Brandon Facyson are listed as co-starters at cornerback on the preseason depth chart with Exum out.
Manning has played in eight games; Facyson enrolled early and turned heads during spring practice. Virginia Tech also plans on using true freshman Kendall Fuller at nickelback.
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