Coach Bret Bielema said Monday that Stave doesn't need surgery but will be out about eight weeks to rehab the injury. There's a slight chance Stave could return for Wisconsin's bowl game, but he's likely out until the 2013 season.
Stave sustained the injury on Wisconsin's first play of the second half after being sacked by Michigan State's William Gholston. The redshirt freshman had moved into the starting role in Week 3 and led Wisconsin to a 3-1 mark in the Big Ten. He had completed 9 of 11 passes for 127 yards and a touchdown against Michigan State before the injury.
Wisconsin will not play this weekend, so Danny O'Brien and Curt Phillips will compete this week in practice. The coaches will select a starter by Sunday or next Tuesday and inform the team, although a public announcement might not be made. O'Brien, a transfer from Maryland, started Wisconsin's first three games and relieved Stave against Michigan State. Phillips, a fifth-year senior, competed for the starting job in 2009 but has endured multiple knee surgeries during his career.
Stave has had clavicle issues his entire life. Because of his birth weight, doctors had to break his clavicle to safely deliver him. He also broke it while playing baseball in the fourth grade.
"Joel was very upset," Bielema said. "It wasn't so much he was in pain. He was upset that he knew something was severely wrong and he was going to miss some time. Statistically he had gotten better every week, and it's a shame. We were on a path that was very, very good. But I think we'll react in a very positive way."