- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Minnesota will be without starting quarterback MarQueis Gray for a little while with a left ankle injury, but the news could have been worse.
Gophers coach Jerry Kill told local reporters Sunday that Gray's left leg momentarily went numb after he suffered an injury in Saturday's game against Western Michigan. The initial fear was that he had broken his leg or suffered a knee injury, but it turned out to be a high ankle sprain. An MRI confirmed the diagnosis and showed no significant damage to the knee.
Kill said the recovery time for a high ankle sprain typically is 2-4 weeks, so Minnesota likely will have to play its first Big Ten game (Sept. 29 at Iowa) without Gray. The Gophers don't have a game in Week 6, so there's a chance Gray could return Oct. 13 against Northwestern. High ankle sprains are tricky, though, especially for a mobile quarterback like Gray, and the recovery time could be longer.
"High ankle sprain is usually a month," Kill said. "Now, how bad the high ankle sprain is? There's different degrees. I don't think anybody knows the degree, again, until he comes in [Sunday], and [we] see if he swells up and how he moves on Monday."
Max Shortell will continue to start in Gray's place after relieving the senior in Saturday's win against Western Michigan and firing three touchdown passes. Freshman Philip Nelson will back up Shortell until Gray returns.
Minnesota should have more information on Gray later this week, so stay tuned ...
1dJosh Moyer and Dan Murphy