South Carolina lost former quarterback Jake Bentley to the transfer portal on Monday, and they’re about to lose current quarterback Ryan Hilinski to the operating table. Hilinski suffered a “small” tear in the meniscus in his left knee and played through them from the Gamecocks’ Oct. 12 Georgia game through the end of the season last Saturday.
Hilinski underwent an MRI Monday that confirmed the tear and will have surgery at a to-be-determined date in the future. Various media reported Hilinski also suffered a small tear in his ACL, but South Carolina called such reports “completely erroneous.”
“We are completely comfortable with how Ryan has been handled by the coaching and medical staff at South Carolina,” said Ryan’s father, Mark Hilinski. “There was no risk of further injury with his knee so Ryan continued to play and we supported his decision to do so. While it may not be necessary, he is opting to have this procedure done to get back to full go as quickly as possible.”
“The University of South Carolina is in full accord with the NCAA in regards to student-athlete welfare,” said team physician Dr. Jeff Guy. “All medical-related decisions about a player’s availability are made by the medical staff only, and then relayed to the coaching staff.”
Hilinski is expected to be sidelined 4-6 weeks, which should put him back in action in time for South Carolina’s winter conditioning in January.
Hilinski was pressed into action as a true freshman after Bentley broke his foot in South Carolina’s season-opening loss to North Carolina. He finished the year 236-of-406 (58.1 percent) for 2,357 yards with 11 touchdowns against five interceptions.