The Arizona Wildcats' hopeful spring ended Monday with somber, familiar news: Safety Adam Hall has torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee again.
Hall will undergo surgery soon, then embark on a recovery process that typically takes six months or longer.
"The doctors will look at all that, and determine what his availability will be heading into the fall," coach Rich Rodriguez said. "Any time you lose a player, and a good player, it's a blow to the football team.
"Adam had worked really hard in the offseason. He'd had a good spring. It's unfortunate, but it's football."
Saturday's ACL tear is the second in as many years for Hall, a Palo Verde High School graduate and former Parade All-American.
He suffered an identical injury to his right knee last March and missed all of spring and fall camps. Hall played in the Wildcats' Oct. 8 loss at Oregon State before being shut down for the rest of the season.
Hall figured to contribute significantly as a fourth-year player this fall. He played this spring with speed, and showcased his trademark pop during practices.
He made the biggest hit of the spring game, de-cleating wide receiver Sean Willett on a passing route and breaking up the play.
Hall tore knee ligaments while chasing down a running back a few plays later. He slipped on the Kino Stadium turf as the back ran past him, and his right knee buckled.
Though Hall left the scrimmage, most of his teammates figured he was fine.
"He was walking around on it," linebacker Jake Fischer said. "I thought he was just mad. I had no idea. I thought we got through (the spring) injury-free."
Knee injuries have hit the UA hard recently. The Wildcats lost five regulars - Hall, Fischer, defensive back Jonathan McKnight, defensive tackle Willie Mobley and running back Greg Nwoko - to torn ACLs a year ago. Fischer, Mobley, Nwoko and Hall took part in full-contact drills all spring.
Hall's injury "really broke my heart," said Fischer, who rehabbed with the safety all last summer.
Whether Hall could return in six months, which would be mid-October, is unclear.
"He's in high spirits now," Fischer said. "He'll be back sooner than anybody thinks."
Lawyer hopeful charges against Ebbele will be dropped
A Tucson City Court judge set a court date next month for Arizona Wildcats offensive tackle Fabbians Ebbele, who is facing assault and trespassing charges stemming from his role in a fight at a campus-area house party last month.
But Ebbele's lawyer, Skip Donau, said Monday that he expects most charges will be dismissed before their May 17 status conference.
Ebbele was suspended from the team March 7, but has been a more visible presence in recent days. He watched Saturday's spring game in street clothes, and took part in a position meeting on the field afterward. Ebbele attended Monday's practice on campus, but did not take part in drills.
Ebbele was one of five UA players charged following the March 2 fight. Witnesses told police they saw both Ebbele and UA defensive back Jourdon Grandon punching men and women at the party, according to Tucson Police Department reports.
Ebbele's lawyer said the 6-foot-8-inch, 310-pound tackle didn't hit anybody.
"You see him: If he closed his first and hit anybody …" Donau said. "Nobody was injured. Nobody demonstrated any injuries to the cops. Nobody pursued this. It was just a party that got out of hand for a while."