TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama coach Nick Saban told reporters on Saturday that he has been dealing with a hip issue that will need to be evaluated by doctors and could require as much as six to eight weeks of recovery.

“It’s been a little bothersome,” Saban said following the end of Alabama’s spring game. “I want to get it fixed because I don’t want to coach one more year, I want to coach a lot more years.”

The 67-year-old was in good spirits, however, joking with reporters often during the postgame news conference.

“Because I have so much respect for this group, I wanted you to be the first to know,” he said of his health update.

Saban was feisty at times, too, challenging even the speculation that quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was anything less than 100 percent after having surgery on his ankle last season.

Tagovailoa, who said he felt no after effects this spring, completed 19 of 37 passes for 265 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

“Keep trying to make something out of nothing,” Saban said. “There’s nothing wrong with the guy.”

Saban also bristled at the media when he was asked about the performance of freshman wide receiver John Metchie, a projected reserve who caught five passes for 133 yards and took home the Dixie Howell Memorial Most Valuable Player of the A-Day Game Award.

Because the game pitted starters versus starters and backups versus backups, Saban said players should be judged against their level of competition.

“You all have a tendency to make someone a star,” Saban said. “And when you do that, you create a problem for us as coaches. … Let’s not go down that road after one spring game.”

Alabama was without four players on Saturday due to injury: offensive lineman Jedrick Wills Jr., tight end Major Tennison and linebackers Terrell Lewis and Ben Davis.

Lewis, a projected starter at outside linebacker and one of the team’s best pass-rushers, suffered a torn ACL last season and was limited during the spring as a precaution, according to Saban.

Defensive backs Shyheim Carter and Jalyn Armour-Davis wore black no-contact jerseys during the game, as they are recovering from injury.

The Crimson Tide open the season on Aug. 31 against Duke in Atlanta.

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