Fresno State was hoping to have Malique Micenheimer back from a shoulder injury suffered in the loss to Nebraska within a few weeks, but it turns out the senior running back will require surgery.
The procedure will be performed on Wednesday, and at this point there is no timetable for a return.
"From there we just take it day by day," Micenheimer said Tuesday. "We won't know until post-surgery, so we'll find out and figure it out from there. I'm hoping for the best. (Dr. Eric C. Hanson, the head team physician) does an amazing job, so I'm just hoping for the best and we'll see the outcome."
With Micenheimer, redshirt freshman Dontel James (lower leg) and freshman Kurt Scoby (concussion) all sidelined, the Bulldogs have had to move T.J. Thomas back to running back from inside linebacker and pushed Darryl Cash up into the rotation behind Marteze Waller and Juice Quezada, and the depth in the position group is becoming a concern.
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"I'll tell you what, in a one-back offense, the things that we do, those guys are going to contact on every single play whether they're picking up a blitz or running the football," offensive coordinator Dave Schramm said. "Mice, we're hoping to get him back, the same with (James). We just have to wait for the doctors to tell us how long that's going to be and go from there, but we'll be all right."
When in two-back formations, which Fresno State has used more this season, the Bulldogs also can use slot receivers Dillon Root or Greg Watson in the backfield.
Micenheimer has rushed the football only one time in the Bulldogs' first three games and has seven receptions for 48 yards (6.9 per play) and one touchdown. The play he was injured on barely registered at impact.
"I just took a hit on a simple little bubble route," he said. "It wasn't anything major, but sometimes the little hits will get you. Honestly, I didn't feel it like it was anything extreme until after the play when I got up and I felt it. That's just how the game goes."