Purdue junior running back Ralph Bolden went down with a non-contact injury last week, and the school announced today that Bolden tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Bolden apparently was injured during Wednesday's practice last week.
Bolden led the team in rushing last season with 935 yards and had 11 total touchdowns. He will have surgery to repair the injury, though no date has been set, according to the release.
Typically, recovery is 4-6 months from an ACL injury. That time frame would have Bolden back for the start of the 2010 season. But Bolden also tore the ACL in his right knee as a season in high school and wasn't fully healed by the time he arrived on Purdue's campus as a freshman. And that was an even longer period between playing -- about 10 months.
A knee injury is critical for a running back. Jaycen Taylor tore his ACL early in spring ball two years ago, and, though he played last season, coach Danny Hope said Taylor wasn't completely healed.
If Bolden can't play in 2010, he still has a redshirt available. His absence would drastically hurt the offense. Al-Terek McBurse will likely move to the No. 1 spot, and Hope thinks McBurse has the speed and skill but still must improve on blocking.
Dan Dierking could be McBurse's backup, though Dierking is listed as a fullback. At least Dierking is a senior and has gotten carries throughout his career.
Still, Bolden had established himself as a star in the Big Ten last season. If he can't play in 2010, it will be a blow.