Wisconsin running back Montee Ball, who was beaten by five attackers near campus this week suffered a concussion and will not be healthy enough to participate in the opening of camp on Monday, coach Bret Bielema said.
Bielema did not indicate Ball had suffered any long-term problems. He said keeping Ball out for a while would spare last year’s Heisman Trophy finalist hits that could exacerbate the injury. And it would give give other backs more repetitions in practice.
Police said five men knocked Ball down as he was walking near campus early Wednesday. The men kicked him in the head and chest before fleeing.
“My concern right now is for Montee’s health and well-being,” Bielema said Wednesday in a statement. “Montee has been released from the hospital and is under the care and supervision of our sports medicine staff. We will continue to evaluate him as we approach the start of fall camp this weekend. I do expect Montee to make a full recovery.”
The Badgers open the season at home Sept. 1 against Northern Iowa and it is expected that Ball will be ready to play. He led the team in rushing last year with more than 1200 yards and was named the Big Ten’s offensive player of the year.
Meanwhile, according to TMZ, Ball and several Wisconsin teammates may have been involved in a fight at a home several days before Wednesday’s attack, which may have precipitated the attack on Ball.
TMZ said cops have been told Ball was at the home and along with some of his teammates, may have participated in beating up a non-football player.
Of course, that theory leads to the idea what happened to Ball was payback for the earlier situation.
Ball rejected that notion through Twitter, posting, “The report that I was involved in a fight is totally false.”