football Edit

Michigan Football's Ronnie Bell Is Out For The Year With A Knee Injury

Michigan Wolverines football coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed what most had feared after seeing Ronnie Bell go down with a leg injury Saturday — the star receiver/punt returner is out of the year. The junior suffered a knee injury, Harbaugh reported, and will undergo surgery at some point.

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On a positive note, Harbaugh said the knee is structurally repairable and Bell is expected to make a full recovery. No date has been set yet for the surgery and no timetable given for his return, Harbaugh added.

"It's a shame," Harbaugh said. "Ronnie won our player of the game. He was having a phenomenal game, along with Blake [Corum] making the big plays, carrying our offense early in the game. Got the big play on the long pass, great contested catch and then finished with a run .

"Then one of the best catches I've every seen in my life, a one-handed catch and he was able to stay inbounds. Very clean and tremendous catch. Punt returner, which he got injured, unfortunately. He was just having a great game."

Bell notched a 76-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter of a 47-14 win over Western Michigan on a third-and-three play that gave the Wolverines a 17-7 lead. His other 'tremendous catch' was called back on a sketchy offensive pass interference penalty, but the 31-yard punt return on which he was injured set up a third touchdown.

"He's going to to continue to lead from the sideline and be a big part of our team," Harbaugh said. "Fortunately, everything is surgically repairable. Ronnie really appreciates everybody's thoughts and prayers, as do we."

Bell had planned this year to be his last in Ann Arbor, but

"Ronnie's drive is so high. It will be a tough, grueling rehab, as all injuries are, but if anybody can do it, Ronnie will," Harbaugh said. "My own personal experience having a season ending injury, the best way not to be left out is to help out — being a leader from the sideline, being a captain ... also, what he can contribute intellectually, because he's a smart guy.

"I remember Lloyd Carr pulling me into his office and asking me to chart secondary coverages for the defense and learn coverages, watch tape. It was one of the best things that ever happened in my career. But Ronnie definitely is driven, cares about the team, and he'll continue to be a big part of it, for sure."

Watch for more on this development in the hours to come.


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