Hartline's season in doubt; job is open

Updated: October 12, 2009, 3:34 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky will have a new starter at quarterback this week when the Wildcats travel to Auburn.

Coach Rich Brooks just doesn't know who it will be yet for the Wildcats (2-3, 0-3 Southeastern Conference).

Brooks announced Monday that starter Mike Hartline suffered a complete tear of his medial collateral ligament during Saturday's 28-26 loss to South Carolina. Brooks says the MCL will not require surgical repair, but Hartline will possibly be out the rest of the season.

Junior Will Fidler, and freshman Morgan Newton will compete for the starting job during the week. Whoever gets the start will face a motivated Tigers (5-1, 2-1 SEC) squad coming off its first loss of the season.

Hartline's leg appeared to get caught in the turf as he was chased by South Carolina safety Darian Stewart on the Wildcats' first series of the second half Saturday. Hartline got up and began to hop toward the sideline when Kentucky trainers caught up with him.

The injury was originally called a twisted knee. Hartline spent the second half sitting on the sideline with his knee heavily bandaged and iced.

Hartline had thrown a touchdown pass and was 9 of 14 for 139 yards as the Wildcats took a 17-14 halftime lead.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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