Knee surgery sidelines Bearcats corner Mickens

CINCINNATI -- No. 16 Cincinnati will play it last two regular-season games without its top cornerback.

Senior Mike Mickens had surgery on Monday to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. Coach Brian Kelly said on Tuesday that Mickens, the school's all-time interception leader, will be sidelined for a game Saturday against Syracuse and the final regular-season game at Hawaii.

The Bearcats (9-2) hope to have Mickens back for their bowl game.

Cincinnati will clinch the Big East title and a BCS bowl berth if West Virginia loses on Friday to Pittsburgh. If that doesn't happen, the Bearcats can win it by beating Syracuse at home on Saturday.

Mickens, who has 14 career interceptions. hurt his knee last Thursday in practice and sat out a 28-21 victory over Pitt.