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September 5, 2011MADISON - If Wisconsin's offensive line didn't feel as though it was ultimately tested in a blowout 51-17 win over UNLV, this week may provide a bit of a reality check.
Sophomore left guard Travis Frederick has been replaced by sophomore lineman Ryan Groy as he tries to recover from a slight MCL sprain suffered against the Runnin' Rebels.
"I don't know if he'll make this game," Bielema said in reference to Frederick. "But he'll probably make the week after that."
Groy, who has played guard and center throughout most of his Badger career, will make his first career start at left guard Saturday against Oregon State.
"I said this to Bob Bostad during the last week of camp," Bielema said. "I've just been so impressed with Ryan and how he's handled everything. He's not gotten uptight about not being the starter and the way he's kind of been jockeying around. I think he's going to truly benefit from that.
"This is his opportunity to step into that and I'll be very excited to see what he's able to do."
Wide receiver Manasseh Garner is also expected to be ready to go this weekend. According to Bielema, the sophomore has been making enough plays in practice to validate his return.
"I saw him running last Wednesday when he wasn't cleared for practice," Bielema said. "He was running faster than anybody else out there. You've got this big joker that can run and I know he's excited to be out there as well."
Garner is currently listed behind Jared Abbrederis on the depth chart.
Sophomore quarterback Jon Budmayr underwent a procedure on his throwing elbow last Friday. His timeframe for a potential return remains unclear.
"As far as how quickly he comes back it's all about the nerve," Bielema said. "The nerve that they relieved is in question. It could be two weeks or it could be two months. There's not a lot of certainty in those regards."
As far as Bielema is concerned, Budmayr, a quarterback expected to compete with Russell Wilson during fall camp for the starting spot, has handled his entire injury situation about as well as anybody could.
Having more information and a better prognosis has helped ease the burden of the unknown on the young thrower.
"You finally saw the guy that I know smiles and talks," Bielema said. "It's been kind of good because now he knows the path and now he knows the direction. It's kind of still a waiting game because the nerve is independent of your body. They've relieved that nerve and the pressure that was around it.
"Hopefully it comes back sooner rather than later."
Junior quarterback Curt Phillips has also had his fair share of serious injuries during his time in Madison. Having suffered three ACL injuries throughout the course of approximately 13 months, Phillips knew he would have a long road to recovery. That doesn't mean things aren't looking good for the versatile quarterback.
"Curt had his surgery (within the past) two weeks," Bielema said. "He's been very upbeat and very positive. He's in a stage now where he's really trying to stay off it and keep the swelling down. I know nobody is going to tell him that he's not coming back. These next 6-to-8 weeks will be very critical to see how the swelling holds up and how his body reacts.
"If he can't get involved in spring ball in its entirety hopefully in some capacity he could."
The following is the audio file from Bielema's presser: