Iowa's Stanzi has surgery, doubtful until bowl

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Reports out of Iowa surfaced Monday that Hawkeyes quarterback Ricky Stanzi had undergone surgery and wouldn't be back for a bowl game.

Well, Stanzi did have surgery on his injured right ankle, but his status for the postseason seems much more promising, according to head coach Kirk Ferentz.

"It is correct that he had surgery," Ferentz said Tuesday. "We think he's going to be just fine. It's very, very doubtful that he'll play in the next two weeks, but we're very, very confident that he'll return shortly thereafter and be ready to go."

When I asked Ferentz about Stanzi's chances to play in a bowl game, the coach said, "A good chance, but I'm an optimist."

Given that Ferentz hasn't been overly optimistic about other Hawkeyes injuries this season, you should expect No. 12 to be out there in January when Iowa plays its bowl game.

Stanzi severely sprained his ankle after being sacked by Northwestern's Corey Wootton in the second quarter of Iowa's 17-10 loss on Saturday. He left the game and was spotted on crutches and wearing a walking boot on the Hawkeyes sidelined.

Redshirt freshman James Vandenberg will make his first career start Saturday when No. 10 Iowa visits No. 11 Ohio State (ABC, 3:30 p.m. ET).