Two days after sustaining an injury to his knee in Saturday’s spring game, Lee Evans’ future on the field is still uncertain.
Evans had an MRI Monday to re-evaluate his status, a procedure which confirmed that the wide receiver suffered ligament damage to his left knee. The injury will require surgery, but a date for the procedure has not yet been set.
The junior flanker’s status for next season will not be determined until after his surgery and corresponding rehabilitation.
Evans, a Biletnikoff finalist in 2001, sustained the injury during Wisconsin’s spring football game, a scrimmage that concluded the team’s 15 practice session throughout March and April.
Evans caught a 36-yard reception from quarterback Brooks Bollinger across the middle for the Cardinal team, and injured the knee when he landed awkwardly.
Evans initially tried to get up after making the catch, but the injury forced him to stay down on the field, awaiting the arrival of UW’s medical staff. The junior flanker was carried off the field and eventually taken to the training room in a cart.
The injury dampened the spirits of the entire UW squad, with teammates paying visits to Evans as he sat on the bench with an immobilizer on his leg, awaiting the medical cart to take him off the field.
Knowing how much Evans gave to the offense, the injury was hard for the Badger players to witness.
“It was like the bottom of my stomach dropped out,” quarterback Jim Sorgi said.
What made the injury harder for Wisconsin to accept was the amount of talent Evans showed on the field.
“When you have one of the best players in college football get hurt, it’s something that is very disheartening and hard to swallow,” Badger head coach Barry Alvarez said.
Evans, who set a Big Ten record for receiving yardage in a single season with 1,545, chose to return to Wisconsin for his senior season, forgoing last weekend’s NFL Draft. The first team all-American and all-Big Ten selection was thought to be a top 10 prospect for the 2003 draft.
While Evans’ availability for next season will not be decided until after his surgery, the junior flanker will have the opportunity to request a medical redshirt for next season. Evans has until October to make his decision.