CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois head coach Bret Bielema announced that Art Sitkowski will have surgery this week, and is out for the season. The quarterback broke his left hand in the Illinois 20-18 win over No. 7 Penn State.
Bielema also revealed that the Rutgers transfer was playing with a pre-existing shoulder injury that needed surgery, along with 6-7 months of recovery. Sitkowski will elect to have that surgery as well later this year, putting him out for spring ball as well.
“We knew at some point he was going to have to undergo surgery, it was an injury he sustained before he ever came here,” says Bielema. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of that kid, what he did to come in the way he did against Nebraska, to come in and do what he did that propelled us to wins, and obviously all the way down to that final play the other day.”
In five games with Illinois, the sophomore threw six touchdown passes for 704 yards, along with two interceptions. Brandon Peters stepped in for Sitkowski against Penn State, and threw the winning conversion pass in the ninth overtime period to give Illinois the win over the Nittany Lions. Bielema says D-II transfer Ryan Johnson is now the backup QB, with Peters likely to be back at QB1.