Corey Clement's season has gone from slowed to stopped as Wisconsin's immediate successor to record-breaking running back Melvin Gordon will have surgery to correct a sports hernia.
The junior will miss 4-6 weeks, the school announced on Thursday. Wisconsin (2-1) faces Hawaii on Saturday before finishing the regular season with eight consecutive Big Ten games in a nine-week stretch.
"Corey has been dealing with some issues since before the Alabama game," said Badgers coach Paul Chryst in a statement. "He has been undergoing treatment since that time and has seen some progress but not to the point where our medical staff is satisfied. So after consultation with our medical staff, Corey has decided to have surgery for a sports hernia."
The optimistic end of Clement's projected return would put him back on the field at Illinois on Oct. 23. A six-week recovery would keep Clement out until a road game at Maryland on Nov. 7.
Clement rushed just eight times for 16 yards in a season-opening loss to Alabama, and hasn't played since.
Prior to the season, Clement was named to the Doak Walker Award and Maxwell Award watch lists as one of the top rushers in college football. He could enter the 2016 NFL Draft if he were to forego his remaining NCAA eligibility, or wait to enter the 2017 draft. He would also qualify for a medical hardship waiver for a redshirt season, because he's played in only one game this season. If Clement were to choose that path, he would be a fourth-year junior next year with the option of returning to Wisconsin once again in 2017. He addressed that on Thursday:
Clement didn't shy away from the expectations, and even publicly set a goal of 2,000 rushing yards, which Gordon accomplished with ease (2,587) in 2014.