Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray (11) is helped off of...

Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray (11) is helped off of the field by trainers after he was injured on a play in the first half of their game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Sanford Stadium. (Nov. 23, 2013) Credit: AP

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and will have season-ending surgery.

Georgia said that tests Saturday night and another exam Sunday confirmed Murray tore the ligament in the second quarter of the Bulldogs' 59-17 rout of Kentucky.

Murray has little swelling and is expected to have the surgery this week.

Murray started all 52 games of his four years and became the Southeastern Conference's career leader in yards passing, touchdown passes, completions and total offense. The senior is the first quarterback in SEC history to pass for at least 3,000 yards in four seasons.

Murray completed 18 of 23 passes for 183 yards with four touchdowns against Kentucky. He left the game after he was hit by defensive end Za'Darius Smith on his only interception with 2:17 remaining in the half.

Murray couldn't put weight on his left leg and was supported by trainers as he was taken to the locker room. It proved to be the end of his college career on the night seniors were honored during Georgia's final home game of the season.

Despite Georgia's big win, coach Mark Richt called Murray's injury "just sickening" and said he "really had a hard time enjoying the rest of the game."

"It's kind of a crummy feeling when you think of what Aaron is going through right now," Richt added.

Murray thanked Georgia fans for their concern and support in a message on his Twitter account Sunday.

"Thank you for all the prayers over the past few hours. Gonna come back stronger than ever! Dawg for life. Truly love you all #GoDawgs," Murray said.

In another tweet, Murray said, "Truly am blessed to have been your QB for 4 years!"

Georgia director of sports medicine Ron Courson said a full recovery is expected for Murray, who bypassed early entry in the NFL draft to return for his senior year.

It has been a disappointing season for Murray's Bulldogs (7-4, 5-3 SEC), who have lost several top players to season-ending knee injuries, including running back Keith Marshall and receivers Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley. Running back Todd Gurley also missed three games and receiver Michael Bennett missed two with injuries.

Junior Hutson Mason, who took over for Murray against Kentucky, is expected to start in this week's final regular-season game at Georgia Tech and in the Bulldogs' bowl game.

Newsday Logo

ONE-DAYSALEUnlimited Digital Access25¢ for 5 6 months