Wisconsin star running back Montee Ball will not return to his team's game against UTEP after suffering an injury early in the second quarter on a touchdown run.
UPDATE: Friday, Sept. 28, at 3:02 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway
Wisconsin running back Montee Ball has been cleared to play Saturday night at No. 22 Nebraska after sustaining a concussion last week against UTEP.
Badgers coach Bret Bielema told local reporters Thursday that Ball is "cleared 100 percent full-go." As long as nothing changes in the next 48 hours, he'll play against the Huskers.
Considering the Huskers' struggles at stopping the run this season, expect the preseason Heisman favorite to get work early and often.
UPDATE: Monday, Sept. 24, at 3:48 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney
Wisconsin head coach Brett Bielema didn't have any new information regarding the star running back, but he does hope Ball will return to practice very soon (via ESPN's Brian Bennett):
On Monday afternoon, Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema said he didn't have much new information on Ball, though he hoped the senior could return to practice on Tuesday. First, though, Ball will have to pass concussion tests to be cleared.
Head injuries are never something to be taken lightly, especially when it possibly marks the second concussion in two months, as is the case with Ball.
Still, while Ball must first clear all tests and prove he is without a doubt concussion-symptom free, the signs coming out of Madison at least seem positive.
---End of update---
According to AP national writer Nancy Armour, Wisconsin announced Ball was done for the day with time remaining in the quarter, only citing a head injury as the diagnosis:
Ball done for the day. They just announced he has a "head injury."— Nancy Armour (@nrarmour) September 22, 2012
That's not good news for Badgers fans. But luckily for Wisconsin, the team has running back James White, who was able to rush for a touchdown shortly after coming in as Ball's replacement.
It's been a less-than-stellar start to the season for the senior back. He was attacked in the offseason by three men who have just been charged for the altercation in the past week. And this year was supposed to be his grand exit from a great career at the university.
To top it off, Wisconsin lost to Oregon State early this season, Ball's numbers have been average, and he fumbled for the first time in his career against the Miners. That's remarkable, considering he had over 600 carries in his career heading into Saturday's matchup.
One of the Heisman nominees from last season, Ball figured to be in the conversation this season as well. But it hasn't panned out that way so far.
Ball rushed nine times for 40 yards and a touchdown before the injury occurred.
Keep checking in with B/R for all the latest updates on Montee Ball's status going forward, including his availability in the coming weeks as Wisconsin begins a slate of Big 10 conference play.