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UNLV’s top deep threat may miss at least the opener

Phillip Payne

When UNLV opens the 2011 season in Madison against Wisconsin, they may not have the services of one of their leading receivers from a year ago.  Or they might.  Maybe.

Such is the state of wide receiver Phillip Payne‘s right foot, which he suffered an undisclosed injury to last week.  The Las Vegas Review-Journal writes that head coach Bobby Hauck said Payne could return next week, or he could miss at least the opener due to the injury.

“Any time you’ve got a bone injury in a foot, even doctors have a hard time telling you how long it will be,” Hauck said. “I’ve seen guys come back from those fast, and I’ve seen guys take a long time. So the honest answer is we don’t know.”

Payne led the Rebels in receiving yards (689) and tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns (5), while his 40 receptions were good for second on the squad.  Fitted with a walking boot, Payne is understandably frustrated over being sidelined for the start of the final summer camp of his collegiate career.  That’s offset, though, by being able to help the younger players ate the position.

“It’s frustrating because I want to play,” Payne said. “But I get a good feeling being able to help out the young bucks, so somehow I’m going to get into it.”

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