Gophers junior cornerback Jalen Myrick is likely out for the season after suffering a rib/lung injury at Ohio State, head coach Tracy Claeys said.

Myrick, who leads the team with three interceptions, had to remain in a Columbus, Ohio, hospital and wasn’t released to come home until Tuesday.

As for when Myrick can play again, Claeys said, “I was told three to four weeks, and he should be back to OK as far as his lung and that goes.”

The Gophers already were without three defensive backs — cornerback Craig James and safeties Damarius Travis (hamstring) and Ace Rogers (knee). Myrick has started seven games.

“I thought [true freshman] KiAnte Hardin the other night stepped in, did a great job,” Claeys said. “So we’ll just take the next healthy one and throw him in there and go.”

Mortell’s perspective

All-Big Ten punter Peter Mortell said his left (non-punting) knee is 90 percent healed from the arthroscopic surgery he had after the Oct. 17 Nebraska game.

The coaches used Ryan Santoso to replace Mortell for a key punt against Michigan on Oct. 31, and that punt went only 29 yards, setting up the go-ahead touchdown.

“That was tough,” Mortell said. “I was 100 percent supportive of it. But I definitely supported Ryan going in. One hundred percent of Ryan Santoso is better than 70 percent of me.

“Ryan’s a great punter, and he’s going to do a good job here in the future. So I definitely supported the decision, but I appreciated how later in the week, they talked about how it was an injury why it happened. I don’t know if it was portrayed correctly as the game unfolded.”