Illinois defensive end Michael Buchanan will miss part of his summer training while recovering from a broken jaw, Illinois coach Tim Beckman said Wednesday. The All-Big Ten candidate was hurt Saturday.
“It was just a mishap,” Beckman said.
Illinois sports information director Kent Brown said Buchanan was hurt in a fight.
Beckman said he is continuing to investigate the incident.
Buchanan returned to his home in the Chicago area but will be back in Champaign-Urbana later this week.
Buchanan’s jaw is wired shut. He also had his wisdom teeth taken out.
“He’ll get himself ready, and he’ll get himself right,” Beckman said.
“He’s a little distraught by it. Of course, nobody wants to break their jaw.”
Beckman said he doesn’t expect Buchanan to need any special protection when he returns to the field for his senior season.
“My brother broke his jaw and continued to play football,” Beckman said. “It’s just healing. You don’t put him back on the field until he’s ready.”
As a junior, Buchanan was second on the team with 7.5 sacks and fifth with 64 tackles. He considered early entry into the NFL draft but decided to return for his final season.
The Illinois defensive line is considered a team strength for the 2012 season. If Buchanan has any setbacks, Brandon Denmark, Darrius Caldwell and Tim Kynard will compete to take his place.
Buchanan’s mishap is the second in the past week for the Illini. On Thursday, fullback/tight end Zach Becker was struck by a car while riding his scooter.
He suffered bumps and bruises, Beckman said.
“He was traveling back from helping his grandmother move,” Beckman said. “He was riding, and it wasn’t his fault.”