Wisconsin announced junior kicker Rafael Gaglianone will miss the remainder of the 2016 season after undergoing back surgery on Thursday.
It’s a disappointing end to the season for the Brazilian-born placekicker, as he made seven of eight field goals through three games. The back injury forced him to miss Wisconsin’s 30-6 win over then-No. 8 Michigan State last Saturday.
According to a statement released by UW on Thursday afternoon, Gaglianone’s condition appeared to have improved on Sunday but deteriorated in the following days to the point where surgery was needed.
“You’re disappointed for Rafael because of all the work he’s put in and how well he was playing,” head coach Paul Chryst said in the statement. “From a football perspective, I’ve appreciated the way the other guys in that unit have responded this week.”
Senior and former walk-on Andrew Endicott stepped up in Gaglianone’s absence last week, converting a 41-yard field goal attempt and three of four extra points in the Badgers’ 30-6 win in East Lansing. The California native will be called upon for the rest of the season.
UW acknowledged Gaglianone will be eligible to apply for a medical hardship with the NCAA for an extra season of competition, as he only played in the first three games of 2016.
Here’s the official release from the Wisconsin athletic department:
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin junior kicker Rafael Gaglianone will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery Thursday for a back injury.
Gaglianone missed the Badgers’ 30-6 win at Michigan State last Saturday as a result of the injury. His condition appeared to improve Sunday but worsened in the days that followed, leading to the need for the surgical procedure.
“You’re disappointed for Rafael because of all the work he’s put in and how well he was playing,” UW head coach Paul Chryst said. “From a football perspective, I’ve appreciated the way the other guys in that unit have responded this week.”
Gaglianone, the Badgers’ field goal specialist since 2014, had converted 7 of 8 kicks this season before being sidelined by the injury. Recovery from a similar back injury led to him missing spring practice in 2015.
“Unfortunately this isn’t his first experience with something like this,” Chryst said, “but we’ve seen that Raf is going to do everything he can to get back on the field as soon as he can.”
Based on his participation in only three games this season, Gaglianone will be eligible to apply for a medical hardship waiver with the NCAA and seek an additional season of competition.