Senior Hassan Mead of the Gophers is the defending individual champion in the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday.

But he won't run in that cross-country race or any other race this fall.

Mead, the two-time defending Big Ten cross-country champion, suffered a collapsed lung on Sept. 3 during a normal training run. He was in the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview until last week.

Gophers coach Steve Plasencia and most of Mead's teammates were at a cross-country meet at Brigham Young Unviversity in Utah.

"Hassan is doing well," Plasencia said. "He is out of the hospital, back in class." 

Plasencia said he is not sure when Mead will be able to start running again.

"A collapsed lung, you ordinarily don't see that," Plasecnia said. "But I am not even thinking about his return. Along with being a fantastic athletes, Hassan is a heck of a representative of the Somali community. And he is interested in getting his degree" in physical therapy."

Mead, a senior academically, still has one cross-country season left and two indoor and outdoor track seasons.

"Given the injury he has last winter," Plasencia said, referring to a sprained Achilles' tendon, "he was coming along well. But he did not have a lot extra time" to get ready for cross country this fall.

"We've just got to be patient, and let him get better.

"Sometimes I notice the careers of the best runners, like Garry Bjorklund, and other people, guys that have real highs, sometimes they have the lowest lows."

In 2-1/3 years of running at the U, Mead has won seven Big Ten titles, two in cross country and five in track.

"We will just wait and see how he comes back," Plasencia said, "but I have a lot of faith in Hassan Mead."