MSU's Winston to have season-ending surgery

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

As originally feared, Michigan State sophomore running back Glenn Winston has a torn ACL in his right knee and will undergo season-ending surgery Thursday, head coach Mark Dantonio announced Sunday night.

Winston, the team's second-leading rusher with 204 yards and two touchdowns, sustained the injury in the first half of Saturday's win against Illinois. The 6-2, 218-pound sophomore entered the running back rotation in camp. He rejoined the team after serving four months in jail for his role on a fight that seriously injured Michigan State hockey player A.J. Sturges.

"He’s had a tough year," Dantonio told reporters in East Lansing. "He needs to refocus on academics and getting healthy. It’s another opportunity, if you look at it, for him to go through some more adversity. He was starting to play very well, and it’s too bad because he was doing well and doing everything he was supposed to do and he will continue to do those things.

The news was more promising for Spartans backup quarterback Keith Nichol, who is day-to-day with a left (non-throwing) elbow injury sustained against Illinois. Michigan State thought Nichol's injury was more severe than it turned out to be.

Without Winston, freshman Larry Caper will take on a greater load at running back. Michigan State needs Caulton Ray and others to step up as well.