Earlier in the week, head coach Bret Bielema didn’t sound too concerned that quarterback Curt Phillips was set to undergo another surgical procedure on a knee that’s seen the ACL torn twice in just over a year.
“It shouldn’t be anything major, hopefully,” Bielema said Thursday. “Kind of just deal with the cards after they are there. If it’s something they can take care of and clean up, hopefully, he’ll be back full-time in June.”
Unfortunately for Bielema and Phillips, that will not be the case.
On the same day as their spring finale, Bielema announced that Phillips will miss the entire 2011 season after it was determined it would be necessary to have a third surgery performed on the same knee in 13 months. Bielema would not say whether the ACL was torn again, but Phillips’ spring ended a week ago after the knee swelled up yet again.
“After the procedure yesterday, basically his knee didn’t heal the way we had projected,” Bielema said. ”He is going to have to go in for another procedure.”
Phillips first tore the ACL in his right knee on March 22 of last year; at the time, he was the No. 2 QB behind starter Scott Tolzien. Eight months later, the same knee suffered the same fate.
Redshirt sophomore Jon Budmayr, the heir apparent to Tolzien, lamented the tough injury his teammate and friend has faced of late.
“It is devastating,” said Budmayr. “Not only is he such a great player on our team but he is a really close friend.
“You hate to see a guy go through that once, much less twice. And now he is going through it for the third time.”
As it stands right now, Budmayr and redshirt freshman Joe Brennan are the only two healthy scholarship QBs currently on the roster. The Badgers will also have freshman Joel Stave and walk-on Nate Tice available for summer camp.
As far as Phillips’ football future is concerned, he could apply for another season of eligibility from the NCAA. If that’s denied, 2012 would be the redshirt junior’s final year of eligibility. Provided, of course, he can stay healthy.