Following the 2017 season, Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham had surgery on his left shoulder to repair some damage suffered during the year.

On Wednesday, during coach Gus Malzahn’s National Signing Day press conference, the Auburn coach discussed his quarterback’s injury and recovery from surgery.

Malzahn said he doesn’t expect Stidham to be ready when the Tigers’ spring practices start on March 1:

That, of course, opens more reps for backups Malik Willis and Joey Gatewood, which will be good for their development in the long run.

For now, though, Auburn fans and coaches will anxiously await the return of the star quarterback, who got better as the year went along in his first year on The Plains.