MADISON - The hits keep coming for the University of Wisconsin.
Having already lost inside linebacker Chris Orr for the season with a knee injury and cornerback Natrell Jamerson for at least a month with a leg injury, Wisconsin announced that junior kicker Rafael Gaglianone will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery Thursday for a back injury.
“You’re disappointed for Rafael because of all the work he’s put in and how well he was playing,” Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst said in a statement. “From a football perspective, I’ve appreciated the way the other guys in that unit have responded this week.”
Gaglianone missed the Badgers’ 30-6 win at Michigan State last Saturday as a result of the injury. Per Wisconsin, his condition appeared to improve Sunday but worsened in the days that followed, leading to the need for the surgical procedure.
Gaglianone, the Badgers’ field goal specialist since 2014, had converted 7 of 8 kicks this season before being sidelined by the injury. Recovery from a similar back injury led to him missing spring practice in 2015.
“Unfortunately this isn’t his first experience with something like this,” Chryst said, “but we’ve seen that Raf is going to do everything he can to get back on the field as soon as he can.”
Senior Andrew Endicott will fulfill the kicking duties for the remainder of the season. Missing an extra point in the first half, Endicott connected on his first career field goal attempt from 41 yards in the third quarter.
"I learned my freshman year when I was making my first start on kickoffs that I can't get too amped up because that's when a lot of things start to change with muscle memory and stuff like that," Endicott told UWBadgers.com. "My biggest thing was trying to keep an even keel from getting on the bus all the way to pre game ... I knew if I stayed consistent good things were going to happen."
Based on his participation in only three games this season, Gaglianone will be eligible to apply for a medical hardship waiver with the N.C.A.A. and seek an additional season of competition.null