Zouzalik, one of Big 12's leading punt returners, out for as long as a month after surgery

Texas Tech receiver and punt return specialist Austin Zouzalik could miss the Red Raiders opening game as he recovers from an emergency appendectomy.

Team spokesman Blayne Beal said Friday that Zouzalik had the surgery early Thursday. Zouzalik could be out as long as a month. The Red Raiders open the season against SMU on Sept. 5.

Zouzalik caught 35 passes for 469 yards and two touchdowns as a freshman last season. He is among the top three punt returners after averaging 9.6 yards on 21 returns last season.