UCA's Zak Clark to miss 6 weeks from broken finger

Updated: August 16, 2003, 4:07 PM ET

CONWAY, Ark. -- Central Arkansas quarterback Zak Clark is expected to miss six weeks after having surgery performed Friday on a knuckle he broke in practice Thursday.

The senior broke the knuckle of his right index finger when his throwing hand struck another player's helmet in the follow-through after a pass.

Clark, who set the state collegiate passing record last season with 3,157 yards, underwent a 45-minute arthroscopic procedure to insert two pins in the hand, Bears Coach Clint Conque said.

With the pins expected to come out in three weeks, Clark could still make the beginning of Gulf South Conference play in Central Arkansas' Sept. 20 game against Henderson State.

"You hate that something like this happens to anyone, especially someone like Zak," Conque said. "He's worked extremely hard to be ready for his senior season."

Conque said the surgery went well and that Clark was in good spirits.

The 6-3, 206-pound Clark transferred to Central Arkansas from the University of Arkansas, where he started the 2001 Cotton Bowl. Last season he was a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, and returns this season as the favorite for the award that is Division II's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.

Central Arkansas was 8-3 last season and led the conference in passing, with 310.5 yards a game.

Two experienced quarterbacks will fill in for Clark. Senior Henry Young has been the backup for two seasons, completing 23 of 36 passes last season for 266 yards and five touchdowns.

Junior Chris Reil sat out last season after transferring from Northwest Louisiana. He was Gulf South Conference Freshman of the Year at Henderson State, throwing for 2,477 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Conque said Young will be practicing with the first team, but either Young or Reil could start in the season-opener against Abilene Christian on Sept. 4.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index