Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 8/2/12
MADISON, Wis. It appears the unprovoked assault that sent University of Wisconsin running back Montee Ball to the hospital early Wednesday morning will force him to miss considerable time during the Badgers' preseason camp. That's according to Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, who discussed Ball's health status Thursday morning during a taping of WISC-TV Madison sports talk show "Sidelines." "I'm fairly confident he won't be with us for the first part of fall camp," Bielema said. "Hopefully, we'll get him back before game week starts up. It should be around that time." Ball, a Heisman Trophy candidate, suffered a concussion and facial injuries during an attack by five males in the 500 block of University Ave. Ball was walking home with friends at 2:15 a.m. when the perpetrators knocked him to the ground and kicked him before fleeing. Wisconsin begins its fall practice schedule Monday, and Ball's absence will provide backup running backs James White, Melvin Gordon, Jeff Lewis and Vontee Jackson with more opportunities. White rushed for 713 yards last season one year after he was the team's leading rusher as a freshman with 1,052 rushing yards. During Wisconsin's spring game, Gordon carried 30 times for 159 yards with a touchdown while Ball and White were sidelined to avoid injury. "If Montee can't go for a while, one of the things I probably would have struggled the most with is How do I limit him during fall camp?' " Bielema told WISC-TV. "He may not be able to be full-contact. I'm excited to see those other guys work." Last season, Ball ran for 1,923 yards with 33 touchdowns and was a Heisman Trophy finalist. Wisconsin opens its season Sept. 1 at home against Northern Iowa.
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