Big Ten

Badgers' Corey Clement to have hernia surgery, out four to six weeks

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Badgers' Corey Clement to have hernia surgery, out four to six weeks

Wisconsin got some tough injury news Thursday, announcing that running back Corey Clement will have surgery to repair a sports hernia and miss the next four to six weeks.

Clement, who was expected to take the baton from Melvin Gordon and turn in the next stellar season by a Badgers running back, carried the ball just eight times for 16 yards in the season-opener against Alabama and has sat out the team's last two games.

"Corey has been dealing with some issues since before the Alabama game," head coach Paul Chryst said in the announcement. "He has been undergoing treatment since that time and has seen some progress but not to the point where our medical staff is satisfied. So after consultation with our medical staff, Corey has decided to have surgery for a sports hernia.

"I feel bad for Corey that this is impacting his season because I know how hard he works and how important this football team is to him. We are very confident that he will make a full recovery after the surgery, and I know he will attack his rehab so he can get back on the field as soon as he can."

[MORE BIG TEN: Week 4 Big Ten previews: Michigan welcomes in BYU]

Clement put up terrific numbers considering his roles as a third-stringer during his freshman season in 2013 and as a backup last season as a sophomore. He rushed for 547 yards and seven touchdowns on just 67 carries in 2013, playing behind both Gordon and James White. Last season behind Gordon, Clement rushed for 949 yards and nine touchdowns on just 147 attempts.

Those numbers had many expecting big things from the junior this season. But that season will be on hold for a month to a month and a half.

No. 22 Wisconsin plays Hawaii this weekend before starting Big Ten play with games against Iowa, Nebraska, Purdue, Illinois and Rutgers.

Clement's injury — plus a still-jelling offensive line — has hampered the typically dominant Wisconsin rushing game so far this season. The Badgers rank last in the Big Ten in rushing offense with 142.3 yards on the ground per game.

Like they have the past two weeks with Clement sidelined, Taiwan Deal and Dare Ogunbowale will take over at running back. Deal and Ogunbowale have combined for 60 carries, 316 yards and four touchdowns in wins over Miami (Ohio) and Troy.

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

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USA TODAY

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

Tough news out of Evanston this morning: Northwestern announced that running back Jeremy Larkin will retire immediately after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis.

Cervical stenois is the narrowing of the spinal canal in one's neck, according to Mayo Clinic. Larkin's condition is thankfully not life-threatening, though it does prevent him from continuing to participate in the game of football. 

"Football has been a lifelong passion and it has been a process to reconcile the fact I won't be on that field again, given I've played this game since I was five years old," Larkin said.

"I'm extremely appreciative of the Northwestern sports medicine and athletic training staffs for uncovering this condition, and for my coaches and the medical staff for always putting my health first.

"I came to this University to engage at the absolute highest level on the field and in the classroom, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue one of those while supporting my teammates from the sideline." 

Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald called the news "heartbreaking."

"This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "But this is the absolute best possible outcome for him.

"The discovery of this condition allowed Jeremy and his family to make an informed decision for his long-term health and well-being. For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright. I can't wait to see the impact he makes in our world."

Larkin is a sophomore from Cincinnati. He finishes his Northwestern career with 156 carries for 849 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

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USA TODAY

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.