Junior quarterback Mike Hartline has undergone an MRI test, the results of which will be evaluated Monday, Coach Rich Brooks announced during his Sunday afternoon teleconference.
Brooks expects that the medical staff will find an injury to the medial collateral ligament in Hartline’s left knee, with also the possibility of injury to the cartilage and the anterior cruciate ligament. If the injury is limited to the MCL, Brooks estimated that Hartline would miss two-to-four weeks. Hartline could miss the remainder of the 2009 season if there is additional injury.
Brooks said that junior Will Fidler and true freshman Morgan Newton would compete in practice for the starting quarterback role for the upcoming game at Auburn. Fidler has completed 5-of-13 passes this season in limited duty, including 2-of-8 in the second half of the South Carolina game. Newton has not played so far in 2009, but the coach indicated that there was a strong possibility that the freshman will now see game action and not continue as a redshirt this season.
At this time, Brooks does not expect wide receiver Randall Cobb to return to quarterback on a full-time basis. Cobb started four games at quarterback last year and also has seen action in that role this season in the Wildcat formation.
Hartline was injured during the first series of the third quarter in Saturday’s 28-26 loss at South Carolina. Ironically, he was in the midst of potentially the best game of his career, completing 9-of-14 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown, staking UK to a 17-14 halftime lead over the No. 25-ranked Gamecocks.
Additional Injured Starters Uncertain for the Auburn Game: Three starters, cornerbacks Trevard Lindley and Paul Warford and offensive tackle Justin Jeffries, missed the South Carolina game because of injuries and Coach Rich Brooks said it was uncertain if any of them would be ready in time for the Auburn game.
Brooks termed Lindley (sprained ankle) as doubtful and that Warford and Jeffries will be evaluated on Wednesday to see if they will be able to see action against the Tigers.