Arizona All-American linebacker Scooby Wright will miss up to a month after undergoing surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee.
Wright was injured in the first quarter of the 22nd-ranked Wildcats' 42-32 win over UTSA on Thursday and tried to come back, but lasted one play before heading back to the bench. The junior spent the second half in street clothes while walking with a cane.
Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said Monday that Wright had arthroscopic surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear on Saturday and will miss three to four weeks.
''Scooby's thing, fortunately, is something that he got fixed and actually I think he's going to come back even stronger than he was before,'' Rodriguez said. ''And knowing Scooby, he will be chomping at the bit, but we will make sure, and trainers will make sure, that when he is coming back, he's coming back 100 percent ready to go.''
A two-star recruit out of high school, Wright has turned into one of the nation's best defensive players. As a sophomore last season, he swept the major defensive player of the year awards and was a consensus All-American. He also was the Pac-12 defensive player of the year and was expected to anchor Arizona's defense this season.
With Wright out, Arizona will turn to senior Haden Gregory, who walked on from junior college before the 2013 season.
''He's a big kid and he's pretty athletic,'' Rodriguez said. ''It's hard to compare a guy to Scooby because Scooby is one of the best defensive players in the country, but I thought Haden came in and made some plays, was pretty active. It was his first extended action there, so I think he will get better from that, and he's going to have to.''