Illinois linebacker Mike Svetina broke his foot in Tuesday’s practice and will be sidelined for eight to ten weeks.
Svetina was a big part of the Fighting Illini’s defense last season, starting eleven games and finishing the year with 57 tackles to his name.
Head coach Tim Beckman confirmed the injury and reassured fans that the procedure went well.
“Mike had a fifth metatarsal break in the foot, had the surgery last night, it was great. It was a clear-cut fracture, so you’re talking eight to 10 weeks that he’s going to be out right now,” Beckman said. “Came back, saw him this morning, he was great, great spirits. It was a successful operation.”
Beckman went on to add which players are being called upon to step up during Svetina’s absence.
“B.J. Bello we’ve moved there. He’s doing better and better learning the position. LaKeith Walls, Ralph Cooper. Those are the upperclassmen names. We’re moving Henry McGrew over there to see what he looks like at that position. He’s been playing the Leo. And you’re talking about Austin Roberts and Tre Watson. They’ve got to be guys,” Beckman said. “And I will say Nate Echard, too, has done a good job as one of our walk-ons.”
Illinois opens up the 2014 season against Youngstown State on August 30.