Big Ten

Injury to Spartans' Jack Conklin not season-ending, per Mark Dantonio

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Injury to Spartans' Jack Conklin not season-ending, per Mark Dantonio

While we still don’t know how long the knee injury to Michigan State junior offensive tackle Jack Conklin, we at least know it won’t end his season.

Head coach Mark Dantonio is known not to talk about injuries much, but he did tell reporters Tuesday during his weekly press conference that there are no new season-ending injuries among Spartan players, a good sign for Conklin, who left last weekend’s win over Central Michigan.

Defensive back R.J. Williamson and tight end Josiah Price also left last weekend’s game with injuries, but going off the same Dantonio statement, their injuries are also not season-ending.

Injuries have been a big deal for Michigan State so far this season, with a pair of defensive starters — linebacker Ed Davis and defensive back Vayante Copeland — already out for the year.

[MORE BIG TEN: Power Rankings: Here comes Michigan]

While Conklin’s season isn’t over, he of course still could miss some time. Or maybe he could be back for this weekend’s game against Purdue, though he’s listed as a co-starter on this week’s depth chart. Dantonio’s secrecy in that department means no prognosis for how much time Conklin will miss, if any. Same goes for the others who left the last game with injuries.

But when talking about a player as important to Michigan State’s success as Conklin — a second team All-Big Ten selection a season ago — hearing that he won’t be out for the year is good news.

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.