Brian Kelly announced this morning that graduate student Christian Lombard and junior Will Mahone will be lost for the rest of spring. Lombard underwent wrist surgery for a dislocation suffered late in Wednesday’s practice while Mahone had a fracture in his right foot repaired.
Lombard was locked in as the team’s starting right guard, though he’s suffered two significant injuries over the past calendar year. After shifting inside from tackle, Lombard was lost early during the 2013 season after back surgery, forcing freshman Steve Elmer onto the field.
Kelly characterized Lombard’s injury after practice as minor, calling it a sprain, but x-rays must have revealed more. Thursday’s surgery typically takes six to eight weeks to heal, though there is no rush to return for Lombard. Conor Hanratty was working in his place at right guard.
Mahone’s broken foot is more tough news for the converted receiver. After looking like the Irish’s only big back possibility when he was recruited, we’ve yet to see what Mahone can do on the field. The Ohio native suffered a high ankle sprain last training camp after looking good at slot receiver and started this spring there as well. But he must have been injured early in spring workouts as Mahone underwent surgery before spring break, and was seen yesterday with crutches and a boot on his foot.
The slot receiver position will primarily be Amir Carlisle and C.J. Prosise’s this spring, with Torii Hunter Jr. also getting an opportunity.