Bielema: Ball to miss first part of camp

Montee Ball likely will be held out of drills when Wisconsin begins fall camp, but the Badgers are still hopeful that the star running back will be ready for the start of the season.

Head coach Bret Bielema said while taping a TV interview today that Ball -- who suffered a concussion and facial injuries after being attacked by a group of men in Madison on Saturday -- will most likely not practice when the team opens drills on Monday.

"I’m fairly confident he won’t be with us for the first part of fall camp,” Bielema said. “Hopefully we’ll get him back before game week starts up. It should be around that time.”

Bielema said he wasn't sure how much contact work to give Ball this month anyway. Wisconsin limited the senior's exposure during spring practice, knowing what he could do and not wanting him to take too many hits. It also gave younger backs like Melvin Gordon a chance to get experience.

The big question here is how much the concussion will affect Ball. Wisconsin, like every team, has to be really careful with that issue. But even if Ball is not a full-go for the start of the season, the Badgers certainly have enough other options at running back, led by James White, to get by.