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JONESBORO -- At first, the Red Wolves believed sophomore wide receiver Brandon Bowling would return from a knee injury for the Arizona Bowl on Dec. 29.

Bowling's injury turned out more severe than Arkansas State University thought.

Bowling tore the medial collateral ligament in his right knee Oct. 9 against Appalachian State. After surgery, Bowling was expected to need 6-8 weeks to fully recover.

"It was much worse than we expected," ASU Coach Blake Anderson said.

Bowling's torn MCL will require five months to fully heal. ASU plans for Bowling to be healthy in the spring.

"Gonna be back stronger and better than ever!" Bowling posted to Twitter on Sunday.

Bowling's 15 receptions tied for the third most among all ASU receivers prior to his injury. Bowling did not start a game this season and did not catch a touchdown in six games.

"We're just happy to get him back for the spring," Anderson said.

ASU plans for sophomore tight end Javonis Isaac (deep thigh bruise) and junior offensive lineman Troy Elliott (knee) to be available for the Arizona Bowl.

Isaac suffered a thigh bruise Nov. 3 against South Alabama and missed ASU's final three games. Elliott returned from multiple knee and shoulder surgeries toward the end of ASU's regular season, but then reinjured his knee.

Isaac, who had 12 catches for 210 yards and 4 touchdowns before his injury, is expected to return as ASU's No. 1 tight end. Elliott, who dropped 15-20 pounds while battling multiple injuries, Anderson said, likely will be a reserve tight end used only in specific run-blocking situations.

Green healing

Dahu Green has ditched the walking boot.

A 6-5 junior transfer from the University of Oklahoma, Green was hoped to be one of the Red Wolves' featured wide receivers during the 2018 season.

He suffered a broken left ankle before halftime of ASU's season-opening 48-21 victory over Southeast Missouri State on Sept. 1 and did not play another down this season. Four months later, Green is nearly healthy enough to return to ASU's pre-bowl practices.

"There's a chance that he could practice some," Anderson said. "More than likely, we won't even test it. He should be a full go when they get back in January."

Green sat out the entire 2017 season to complete the NCAA's transfer requirements after his move from Oklahoma to ASU in the summer of 2017.

ASU intends to apply for a medical hardship with the Sun Belt Conference once the season is completed. If it is approved, ASU will submit a waiver to the NCAA for Green to be granted a sixth year of eligibility.

2018 captains

In a vote by all players, ASU named senior quarterback Justice Hansen, senior running back Warren Wand, senior defensive end Ronheen Bingham, senior nickel back Justin Clifton and redshirt junior punter Cody Grace the team's official captains for the 2018 season.

Hansen, Bingham and Clifton were named to the All-Sun Belt first team at the end of November. Grace was announced as a All-Sun Belt second-team member, and Wand landed on the league's honorable mention list.

Hansen and Bingham also were named the Sun Belt's player of the year and defensive player of the year, respectively.

Arizona Bowl


WHEN 12:15 p.m. Central, Dec. 29

WHERE Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Ariz.

RECORDS Arkansas St. 8-4; Nevada 7-5

TV CBS Sports Network

Brandon Bowling

Sports on 12/05/2018

Print Headline: WR's knee will keep him out


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