Press Clippings: Dudek likely to sit out season; Ferguson questionable vs. Wisconsin

Injury news from Bill Cubit's Oct. 19 press conference previewing homecoming game against Wisconsin

CHAMPAIGN - Illinois star wide receiver Mikey Dudek likely will not play this season, Illinois interim coach Bill Cubit said at his Monday press conference.

Dudek, a Freshman All-America selection after becoming the sixth Illini in program history to top 1,000 receiving yards in a season, suffered a torn ACL during spring practice in April.

"I still think Mikey's a couple weeks away," Cubit said. "Earlier there was a projection that he could get back a little earlier, but it's a sixth month injury. Until you're six months you're probably not going to be out there."

Dudek likely will redshirt this season to preserve three fulls years of eligibility.

"I don't think it's going to happen (a return to the field), to be perfectly honest with you," Cubit said.

Senior wide receiver Justin Hardee, who has missed the first six games of the season with a broken foot, will "run around" at practice on Monday but is "doubtful" for this week's game.

Hardee is a redshirt candidate but Cubit left the door open for a possible return since Hardee will earn a master's degree at the end of the spring semester.

"It's all going to be a personal choice, really," Cubit said. "I've sat down with him and asked him where his personal feelings are at. We'll just get him back healthy. When he's healthy, he'll make a decision. If he's not healthy, then there really isn't a decision. He'll just go out there and redshirt. I think Mikey's a little bit more defined at this point."

Ferguson 'very questionable'

Starting running back Josh Ferguson is "very questionable" for Saturday's game at Wisconsin with an AC sprain in his right shoulder, Cubit said. Ferguson suffered the injury during the first quarter of the Illini's 14-13 win over Nebraska on Oct. 3. He sat out the Illini's 29-20 loss at Iowa on Oct. 10.

"I think it's a week-to-week thing," Cubit said. "He's got to feel comfortable. Those running backs, they get hit on almost every single play. ...So rather than it becoming a lingering thing all the way though (the season), let's just get him healthy. That way, when he comes back, he'll feel a hundred percent or close to it and he can just go out there and play."

Murdock, Milan doubtful

Depth becomes an even larger concern at wide receiver as starting sophomore wide receiver Marchie Murdock (20 receptions, 194 yards, 3 TDs) will likely miss Saturday's game due to a deep thigh bruise suffered during the Iowa game.

"He's gotten better, but it's not game-ready," Cubit said. "If he's not able to go (at practice on Monday) and Tuesday, then he probably won't play."

Some good news though as senior receiver Geronimo Allison, who leads the Big Ten in receptions (40) and receiving yards (601), will play after suffering a concussion late in the fourth quarter against Iowa.

"It was a good week to get the bye week, especially for him," Cubit said.

Jamal Milan won't play Saturday but Cubit said the freshman defensive tackle "is getting closer" to a return.

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