MADISON, Wis. (AP) No. 22 Wisconsin will need to get its running game going without starting tailback Corey Clement.
Coach Paul Chryst said Thursday that the junior would miss four to six weeks to have sports hernia surgery. Clement missed the last two games, and he played sparingly in the season opener against Alabama after hurting his groin in practice.
''Bummed. I've got to get the surgery and do what it takes to get back on the field,'' Clement said Thursday at Camp Randall Stadium.
An ultrasound Wednesday showed two hernias, Clement said.
Clement practiced Monday. He was supposed to return for the Badgers' game Saturday night' against Hawaii.
He described being able ''to get to my third gear, but it was really a struggle to get to my fourth and try to really extend and open up my stride. That's when I knew something was up.''
Now the tailback expected to ascend to the starring role in the Wisconsin backfield might not be back until November. Clement said he would consider taking a redshirt year depending on how the team is doing in Big Ten play.
Wisconsin (2-1) finishes nonconference play against Hawaii before its conference opener on Oct. 3 against Iowa.
It's a blow to the running game for the Badgers, who are off to an inconsistent start on the ground because of Clement's absence along with injuries and new faces to the right side of the offensive line.
''He felt like he was making progress but wasn't able to get over the hump,'' Chryst said about Clement's decision to have surgery.
Junior Dare Ogunbowale, who converted from defensive back last season, and redshirt freshman Taiwan Deal figure to continue to shoulder the load at running back with Clement out.
Clement was the backup to Heisman Trophy runner-up Melvin Gordon last year, when Clement ran for 969 yards and nine touchdowns on 147 carries.
He got hurt after taking a fall during practice the week of the season opener against Alabama. Clement said he feared he have made the injury worse by trying to practice through the injury before the Alabama game.
Asked if he had regrets whether he gave up the medical staff an accurate account of his injury, Clemente said, ''Man if I had just said something earlier, I would have had more time and opportunity to come back even earlier ... I just wish I would have (spoken) up definitely before the Alabama game.''
Added Clement: There was so much hype that came with the game ... But me being so hard-headed, I just tried to give it what I could do.''
AP College Football site: http://collegefootball.ap.org