Bryan Harsin is optimistic that kicker Anders Carlson will return in time for Auburn’s season opener on Sept. 3 against Mercer.

The Auburn coach was in Columbus, Georgia on Tuesday and spoke to reporters ahead of an alumni event. Carlson redshirted in 2017 and has been the starting kicker since 2018. Carlson is coming off ACL surgery in mid-November after he tore a ligament in his knee during an onside kick attempt in the fourth quarter of Auburn’s loss to Mississippi State.

“As far as the work he’s put in and the progress that he’s made, I believe he’ll be ready, and I think in his mind he’ll be ready,” Harsin said, via “That’s the one thing about Anders: I know he’s a kicker, but he is the ultimate competitor, and you don’t really see many kickers have that type of energy, but to come back from that and how he’s done it and the focus that he’s got to just getting himself healthy—there’s no question in my mind that he’ll be ready to go.”

Harsin doesn’t have a timeline for when Carlson could return to practice, and said that decision would be with the Auburn medical staff.

Before his injury, Carlson made 14 of 21 field goals and 35 of 36 extra points in 10 games.