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BLOG: Ole Miss LB Johnson out with knee injury

A knee injury has cost another starter on Ole Miss’ defense part of his season.

Linebacker C.J. Johnson is expected to miss at least the next four games after having surgery on his meniscus Tuesday, the school announced.  Johnson, in his first season back at the position after spending the last three seasons as a defensive end, had 17 tackles and a pair of interceptions through the first five games.

The news comes just two weeks after safety Tony Conner tore the meniscus in his right knee against Alabama. Conner, who the Rebels have struggled to replace at the Huskie position since, has missed the last two games and is expected to be out at least two more.

Starting defensive tackle Issac Gross was lost one game into the season to neck surgery. The school said in a statement released early last month he plans to redshirt and return for a fifth season.

Johnson announced the news himself via social media Tuesday morning, posting a tweet that read, “Minor setback for a major comeback” accompanied with a screenshot of a post to his personal Facebook page that read, in part, as follows:

“The best thing I love about playing sports is that it challenges your guts and determination. When the game knocked you down, you get up and keep fighting. Thank you to all of my family and friends who has prayed for me through this difficult time. Hopefully my surgery will go well and I’ll be able to be back with my brothers soon.”

Johnson also missed most of his junior season in 2013 with an ankle injury that required surgery, but he was granted a medical redshirt to get the year back.

Junior college transfer Terry Caldwell is in line to take over in the middle for the time being. The former Northwest Mississippi CC standout has played in every game this season and recorded eight tackles.

Ole Miss has a media availability scheduled after practice Tuesday night.