Gophers wrestler Brandon Paulson will take the sideline for two to three weeks after undergoing corrective ankle surgery Wednesday. Paulson is expected to be back for the Big Ten tournament March 8-9 at Williams Arena.
The injury occurred in Paulson’s match against Jeremy Hunter of Penn State in the second round of the National Duals Tournament on Jan. 18.
Even though he was injured, Paulson competed in the Gophers’ semifinal match of the Duals against Iowa’s Jessie Whitmer, and lost, 9-4.
Paulson, who earned a silver medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics, is ranked No. 6 at 118 pounds and holds a 16-2 overall record. He is the Gophers’ lone wrestler at 118 pounds, which means Minnesota will forfeit the first match of each meet until Paulson returns, giving its opponents a six-point lead.
Paulson’s injury may pose a difficult point deficit for the Gophers, especially in their match Friday against No. 1-ranked Oklahoma State.
The No. 3-ranked Gophers have posted a 2-1 record wrestling without Paulson, including wins over Michigan State (28-9) and Penn State (19-15), to take third at the National Duals. Minnesota was downed by No. 2-ranked Iowa, 29-12, last Friday night in Big Ten competition.
— Allison Younge