Foot surgery to cost Wisconsin’s Gilbert all of spring practice

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Nagging foot issues cost David Gilbert a sizable chunk of his 2011 season.  Now, another issue in the same foot will keep the Wisconsin defensive end-turned-linebacker for the next couple of months — if not longer.

Friday, Gilbert will undergo surgery to repair ligament damage in his right foot.  Gilbert’s been dealing with the injury since the latter portion of the non-conference schedule last season.

As a result, Gilbert will miss all of UW’s spring practice.  Gilbert hopes to return to participate in summer workouts that begin in June, although he declined to put a stringent timeline on a recovery.

“As soon as I feel like I can come off the ball and stop a 300-pound lineman, or take on a double team, that’s when (I’ll return),” Gilbert said according to madison.com. “I’m just playing it by ear and really testing my body this time around, so we don’t have any setbacks — because I’m known for having setbacks with my foot.”

Gilbert started the first four games of the 2011 season before suffering what turned out to be a season-ending foot injury.  He broke his right foot during practice leading up to that season’s conference opener, then re-broke it during practice leading up to the Badgers’ bowl game.

Last season, Gilbert played all 14 games and led all UW linemen in tackles.  This season, he’s expected to move to linebacker as new Badgers head coach Gary Andersen will move from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense.