(Eds: APNewsNow. With AP Photos.)By JOHN ZENORAP Sports Writer
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Philip Lutzenkirchen faced the tough choice of shutting down his Auburn career or risking far bigger problems down the line.
Two weeks ago, the Tigers' tight end chose to have season-ending hip surgery to repair a torn labrum and remove three bone spurs, ending a frustrating final year during which he couldn't hold his blocks as long as he used to and felt slower in running routes.
Now, Lutzenkirchen is rehabilitating trying to get ready for the Senior Bowl in January if possible, or at least the NFL combine to get ready for the draft. He said doctors told him putting off surgery might have led to hip replacement before his 30th birthday.
The native of Marietta, Ga., will watch from the sidelines when Auburn (2-7, 0-6 Southeastern Conference) takes on No. 5 Georgia Saturday night.