Knee injury sidelines OSU’s Wilson for season

Published 1:37 am Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ohio State defensive end Lawrence Wilson will undergo surgery for torn ligaments in his left knee and will miss the rest of this season, Coach Jim Tressel announced Tuesday.

Wilson missed all of last season with a broken right leg. The 6-foot-4, 274-pound junior from Akron was injured in the Buckeyes’ 16-3 victory over Purdue on Saturday.

He was the sixth-leading tackler for the Buckeyes (6-1, 3-0 Big Ten) with 18, including 2 1/2 tackles for a loss with one sack.

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‘‘I feel terrible for Lawrence,’’ Tressel said. ‘‘I feel worse for Lawrence than I feel for us, because anybody can sprain an ankle and you may not have him in that game. But for a guy to go through surgery a year ago, and now he’s going to have to go through surgery now. Man, he’s a great kid.’’

Ohio State has been rotating players on the defensive line. Wilson’s spot will most likely be filled by junior Rob Rose, who was listed as a co-starter at the position on this week’s two-deep chart. Tressel also said sophomore Cameron Heyward, junior Doug Worthington and sophomore Thaddeus Gibson would get increased time.

‘‘With Lawrence being down, we’re not sure of who’s going to play that position,’’ Rose said. ‘‘Right now, it’s a competition. Whatever the case might be, whoever ends up starting, I’m pretty sure that we’ll have a rotation. It’s not who starts, it’s who finishes. The best player is going to play.’’

Linemate Nader Abdallah said he was shaken by the news that Wilson would have to sit out.

‘‘I was very shocked, because he didn’t think it was going to be that bad,’’ Abdallah said. ‘‘I talked to (Lawrence) the day before yesterday and he said, ’Yeah, we’re just going to get it checked and see how bad it is, but I don’t think it’s that bad.’ I wasn’t expecting much, and then the next day you find out the news and it’s like, wow. That’s so depressing.’’

The 12th-ranked Buckeyes play at No. 20 Michigan State (6-1, 3-0) on Saturday.