Already off to an unsettled start to the season, Wisconsin now must prepare for a trip to Nebraska with running back Montee Ball's status up in the air.

Already off to an unsettled start to the season, Wisconsin now must prepare for a trip to Nebraska with running back Montee Ball's status up in the air.

Ball left Saturday's game against Texas-El Paso because of a head injury, and coach Bret Bielema said yesterday that he was optimistic but not certain that Ball will be able to practice this week as the Badgers (3-1) prepare for their Big Ten opener against the 22nd-ranked Cornhuskers (3-1).

Bielema said he was not "overly concerned" that Ball would have to sit out this week, even though it's Ball's second head injury in less than two months. Ball, a Heisman Trophy finalist last season, missed most of preseason camp after he was attacked near campus on Aug. 1 and suffered a concussion. Three students have been charged in connection with the incident.

Bielema said Ball bounced back fairly quickly after the attack, and said Saturday's injury didn't appear to be severe.

• Missouri linebacker Zaviar Gooden reinjured his hamstring on Saturday and will not play in this week's game at Central Florida. In three games, Gooden has one interception, which he returned 20 yards for a touchdown in the season opener against Southeastern Louisiana.