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KNOXVILLE — Tennessee tight end Austin Pope said he had surgery Thursday to repair a herniated disk in his back.

Pope shared the news on Twitter, writing that he had been dealing with a lot of nerve pain stemming from his lower back.

An MRI scan conducted Monday showed Pope had a herniated disk between the L3 and L4 vertebrae, requiring surgery. Pope also had a different herniated disk two years ago repaired surgically.

"I love this game, my teammates, and my coaches and I will do anything to help this program succeed," Pope wrote. "Prayers would be appreciated. Minor setback for a major comeback."

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound fifth-year senior has started 14 of his 33 career games with the Volunteers and is primarily a run blocker. He had four catches for 21 yards last season.

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Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Tennessee tight end Austin Pope gets a drink during warmups before the Vols' home game against BYU on Sept. 7, 2019.
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