Illinois’ Mikey Dudek injured again during spring practices

Illinois+Mike+Dudek+looks+to+the+bench+during+the+game+against+Penn+State+at+Memorial+Stadium+on+Nov.+22%2C+2014.+Dudek+missed+the+2015+season+with+a+torn+ACL.

Illinois’ Mike Dudek looks to the bench during the game against Penn State at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 22, 2014. Dudek missed the 2015 season with a torn ACL.

By Cole Henke, Staff writer

Illinois head football coach Lovie Smith announced Tuesday that sophomore wide receiver Mikey Dudek was limited in practice due to a knee injury.

Smith declined after practice to comment on the severity of the injury or how long Dudek will sit out.

“I learned a long time ago that doctor is not in front of my name,” Smith said. “If guys can’t go then we hold them out. In the spring, you take every precaution you can.”

Dudek missed the entire 2015 Illini football season due to a torn ACL. On Friday after the team’s first practice and his first time on the field since last year, he said he was excited to be back.

Tuesday was also the first practice in full pads for the Illini this Spring. Offensive coordinator Garrick McGee said that playing in pads just brings a better energy to the Illini’s practices.

“When you put pads on the practices get a lot more physical,” McGee said. “You get to block, and you get to hear pads popping. That’s what football is.”

Practice on Tuesday was moved from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Smith said that he and the coaching staff are always working to find the best time for the Illini to practice, because the 6:00 a.m. time slot is “not an ideal for the players to be practicing.”

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