Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly said he didn't know the extent of quarterback Dayne Crist's knee injury following Saturday's loss to Tulsa. By the time Kelly spoke to reporters during his Sunday teleconference, Crist had already gone under the knife.
The junior QB had what Kelly said was successful surgery to repair a torn left patellar tendon and will miss the rest of the season and likely all of spring practices next year. His recovery time is expected to be about six months.
Before he had completed a pass, Crist was knocked out of the game after a 29-yard run in the first quarter. He immediately grabbed his left knee. The junior tore his ACL in his right knee nearly a year ago and missed the rest of the season. Crist, who had 2,033 yards and 15 touchdowns this season, recovered from surgery in time to take over for Jimmy Clausen this past spring.
"I talked to him last night and I told him, essentially, sometimes we look for answers and sometimes there are no answers," Kelly said. "Sometimes accidents occur. His situation was, as you probably already heard, it was a non-contact injury and he fell."
Kelly said he tried to encourage Crist by reminding him of how he bounced back from the first injury.
"The second thing I said is [that] you've been through this before," Kelly said. "You don't want to go through it again, but at least you've already exhibited the strength to get through this. And you're going to have to call on that to get through it again."
Kelly also says leading rusher Armando Allen might need hip surgery for torn cartilage and his Irish career is likely over.
Allen, the Irish's leading rusher three straight seasons, has had problems with both hips. Kelly said linebacker Prince Shembo got a concussion Saturday.
Crist and Allen join tight end Kyle Rudolph (hamstring surgery) and likely nose guard Ian Williams (knee sprain) as top players whose seasons have been ended prematurely by injuries.
Wes Morgan covers Notre Dame football for ESPNChicago.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.