Aidan Hutchinson out for ankle surgery; Wisconsin plans to play vs. Michigan
Michigan starting defensive end Aidan Hutchinson suffered a fracture in his right ankle in the game at Indiana last Saturday and will require surgery, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday.
Hutchinson, a junior, is a captain and one of the Wolverines’ top defensive players. He was injured during the first series of the loss at Indiana as he reached for quarterback Michael Penix.
His father, Chris Hutchinson, a former Michigan All-American and emergency room physician at Royal Oak Beaumont, told The Detroit News on Monday that Aidan should be fully recovered in four months. Surgery is tentatively scheduled early next week.
“He’s worked so hard, he’s put so much into it and playing really good," Harbaugh said. “I know he’ll come back stronger, faster, better. It’s just the way he is. He is so high-drive, this is not something that's going to be a detriment to his career. He's young, he'll heal fast, and I can say he'll come back even better, stronger and faster."
Michigan was without starting offensive tackles Ryan Hayes and Jalen Mayfield at IU because of lower leg/foot injuries. Karsen Barnhart replaced Hayes, Andrew Stueber moved from right guard to right tackle replacing Mayfield, and freshman Zak Zinter started for Stueber.
“They’re still working,” Harbaugh said when asked for updates on Mayfield and Hayes. “We’ll see what the progress is like today, mid-week.”
Defensive end Kwity Paye also left the IU game late in the third quarter and didn’t return. There was no update on his status.
Wisconsin is on
Michigan’s upcoming opponent, Wisconsin, did not play the last two games because of player and staff issues related to COVID-19, but is set to play at Michigan Stadium in primetime on Saturday.
The Badgers, in a release Monday, said the team began its regular game-week preparations Monday morning and is scheduled to practice each day this week. The team currently has five active COVID-19 cases, including two students.
Since Nov. 2, according to the release, one staff member and one athlete have tested positive. There have been no positive cases five of the last six days.
“We had no new positives on Tuesday and Wednesday, which was a great sign,” Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said in the release. “That’s when we started thinking Friday could be a day we could get the team together to start doing things with an eye towards having a regular practice week this week. So we were cautious on Friday and Saturday, split guys into groups, and just did conditioning. The team then got together and held its regular Monday practice this morning.
“We feel confident that we have a handle on the situation and are excited to play this week at Michigan. As we have done throughout, we will continue to monitor our testing results and base our decision on those results.”
The Badgers first paused practices on Oct. 28 and its scheduled games at Nebraska on Oct. 31 and home vs. Purdue on Nov. 7 were canceled.
Michigan’s game at Rutgers in Nov. 21 will be another primetime game at 7:30 p.m. on BTN.
This will be the third night game of the season for the Wolverines. They opened on the road in a night game at Minnesota and play Wisconsin on Saturday at Michigan Stadium at 7:30 p.m.