Gophers linebacker Cody Poock has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, a person familiar with his injury said Monday.
The team was finalizing the diagnosis, with Coach Jerry Kill expected to address the injury with the media after Tuesday’s practice.
Poock suffered the injury at Saturday's practice. On Sunday, he posted on his Twitter page (@codyallenpoock), “Everything happens for a reason.”
It’s a tough blow for the Gophers, as Poock had been playing with the first-team defense, alongside linebackers Damien Wilson and De’Vondre Campbell.
Poock is expected to have surgery soon, and his ability to return this fall will depend on how he heals. Last year, Michigan linebacker Jake Ryan suffered a torn ACL injury in spring practice. He had surgery March 28 and was back playing again for the Wolverines on Oct. 12.
Gophers cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun tore his ACL in the season’s second game last year (Sept. 7 at New Mexico State) and he already has seen time in 11-on-11 drills this spring.
Poock still has three years of eligibility remaining after transferring from Iowa Western Community College. He had the grades to play Division I coming out of Spirit Lake High School last year but didn’t get the offers he wanted, so he went the junior college route.
He made 80 tackles for an 11-1 Iowa Western team and picked Minnesota over TCU. This spring, he quickly emerged as the leading candidate to replace departing senior Aaron Hill at strong-side linebacker.
Nick Rallis, a redshirt sophomore from Edina, filled in for Poock with the first-team defense for the rest of Saturday’s practice. The Gophers have been pleased with Ray Dixon’s play with the second-team defense, making him another candidate to replace Poock.
With Wilson entrenched at middle-linebacker for one more year, it’s also possible the Gophers could move his backup, Jack Lynn, to an outside spot this fall.