Dudek suffers another season-ending ACL tear

Illini star sophomore receiver suffers torn ACL to same knee for second straight season

CHAMPAIGN - Illinois sophomore wide receiver Mike Dudek will miss his second straight season with a torn ACL, Illini coach Lovie Smith said Friday.

Dudek suffered the injury to his right knee during a non-contact drill on Saturday and will have surgery next week. He tore the ACL in the same knee on April 8, 2015.

Dudek is meeting with renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Monday, his father Rick told IlliniInquirer.com. He is expected to have surgery on Tuesday based on Andrews' consult and recommendation.

"Sometimes the game can be cruel," Smith said. "It's just unfortunate. The guy worked himself pretty hard to get back in position."

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Dudek was a Scout.com Freshman All-American after hauling in  76 receptions for 1,038 yards in 2014.

"He takes what he does seriously," Smith said. "You can tell he's a great competitor. Great guy. He's liked by his teammates. Everybody's pulling for him."

LB Jones back to practice

Julian Jones' indefinite suspension is over.

The sophomore linebacker was back at Illinois practice on Friday for the first time since his November indefinite suspension stemming from an alleged sexual assault in his native Georgia during the team's bye week in October.

Jones has been enrolled at the university and on the football roster all semester. He was granted approval by the university, athletic director Josh Whitman and Smith to resume practice on Friday.

"Another athletic linebacker," Smith said. "He kind of fits the profile that we're looking for. A guy who can play in space. A smart, intelligent player with a lot of upside. We're starting the process with him. He's missed a lot of work."


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