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LSU defensive end Rashard Lawrence kisses his defensive MVP trophy following the Tigers' 40-32 win over UCF in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, Tuesday, January 1, 2019, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

LSU defensive end Rashard Lawrence said Saturday that he will miss spring football practice after recently undergoing surgery on his right knee but is expected to be ready to go when preseason drills begin in August.

Lawrence was in good spirits Saturday as he watched LSU basketball’s thrilling 82-80 overtime victory against Tennessee.

He sat on the aisle about halfway up the student section in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center with a brace on his right leg. He did not say when his surgery happened but that it went as expected.

Lawrence passed up a chance to come out early for the NFL draft and return for his senior season. Bleacher Report had projected him as a second- or third-round pick if he had left school.

Lawrence even said he would like to represent LSU once again in July at SEC media days, as he did in 2018.

A former star at Neville in Monroe, Lawrence had a career-high 54 tackles last season, the most for any LSU defensive lineman and tied for fourth on the team with linebacker Michael Divinity. Lawrence’s numbers included a five-tackle game in the Fiesta Bowl against UCF, when he earned defensive MVP honors with two sacks and four tackles for loss.

The Tigers are set to begin spring practice March 7.

LSU opens the season Aug. 31 against Georgia Southern in Tiger Stadium.

Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.​