After losing a starting cornerback and two incoming recruits yesterday the Hoosiers received more bad news as Coach Kevin Wilson announced today that projected starting linebacker Chase Hoobler is going to be sidelined indefinitely due to a stress fracture in one of his ankles.
The Ohio native missed six games in 2012 and the 2013 spring due to an ankle injury. In the six games (four starts) that Hoobler did play in he recorded 26 tackles. The injury opens the door for JUCO transfer Steven Funderburk to make his case to replace Hoobler in the middle of the Hoosier defense. However, it is a major blow to the depth and talent of this Indiana defense that is looking to improve in 2013.
The injury is very troubling as Hoobler was rehabbing from an ankle injury from last year and was almost ready to join his teammates in practice when he felt pain in his foot, that team doctors ultimately deemed a stress fracture. Wilson hinted that Hoobler may have to have surgery on the ankle saying "that can be a surgical deal, a non-surgical deal, but the time on that will go well into the season." The question fans may be asking is whether or not the linebacker can get a sixth year of eligibility. Hoobler was a rising junior, who redshirted in 2010, has another year left to play, but he can apply for a medical hardship waiver if he deems that the path he wants to take. Given the history of the injury and that Hoobler is coming off a major ankle injury that kept him out 6 games last year and all of spring, the Hoosier coaches have to be concerned that the junior linebacker will be out for the year.
Stay tuned, we will keep you updated as more details emerge about the situation.