East Carolina running back Dominique Lindsay had surgery Thursday to determine the amount of damage to his knee during practice Tuesday evening. ECU spokesperson Tom McClellan said doctors were optimistic about return, but no other information was released.
Lindsay, the Pirates' projected starter at running back, suffered a non-specific injury to his right knee. Early estimations are that he'll at least miss six-to-eight weeks, but it could be longer if the initial scope of the knee shows significant structural damage.
"I'm absolutely sick for a guy like Dominique who is a senior and has really busted his tail," East Carolina coach Skip Holtz said. "He put his heart, soul and energy into the winter workouts, the spring and the summer. I know that he's really devastated ... We're just going to have to wait and see where this thing goes after the surgery."
Lindsay is the second ECU running back to suffer a serious injury. Junior college transfer J.R. Rogers has been out with a rib injury and it is unclear when he will return.
Sophomore Jonathan Williams and senior Brandon Simmons split carries during Wednesday's practice. Williams had the best numbers of the two from last season with 22 carries for 150 yards and a touchdown.
East Carolina ranked 34th in the country last season behind senior Chris Johnson, who averaged 109.46 yards per game. Lindsay was the team's second-best running back with 66 carries for 205 yards and five touchdowns.
Also, senior defensive tackle Brandon Setzer will likely miss the season with an unspecified injury to his right knee. Setzer was named the starter before camp.
Graham Watson covers college football for ESPN.com.