MADISON, Wis. (AP) The availability of Wisconsin's Corey Clement for Saturday's game against Illinois remains unclear as the running back recovers from sports hernia surgery.

Coach Paul Chryst said before practice Thursday that Clement had taken hits in earlier in the week but had yet to be tackled.

Clement rushed for nearly 1,000 yards last season as the backup to Heisman Trophy runner-up Melvin Gordon. He was slated to take the starting job.

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But Clement hasn't played since the season-opening loss to Alabama after getting hurt in practice that week. He tried to work through what he initially thought was a groin injury.

Clement had surgery on Oct. 1, and the team initially said that the junior might miss four to six weeks.

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AP College Football site: http://collegefootball.ap.org/