Illini lose linebacker Mike Svetina to broken foot

Illini lose linebacker Mike Svetina to broken foot
August 7, 2014, 8:00 pm
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Vinnie Duber

The Illini are down a linebacker after MIke Svetina had surgery on his broken foot Wednesday.

Head coach Tim Beckman broke the news Thursday, saying the junior linebacker will miss the next eight to 10 weeks.

"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."

Svetina's injury puts him out of commission for the remainder of training camp and likely all of the non-conference schedule. Beckman said he wouldn't return until conference play, if then.

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Svetina started all but one game last season for Illinois. He ranked fifth on the team with 57 tackles. He also forced a fumble and had two tackles for loss.

He was listed as a backup middle linebacker on the team's post-spring depth chart.

As for who could fill in, Beckman listed about the entirety of the Illini's linebacking corps.

"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."