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Report: ASU running back Kalen Ballage diagnosed with mononucleosis, could miss significant time

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It hasn't been a very good weekend for the Sun Devils.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like the Arizona State Sun Devils won't see Kalen Ballage for quite sometime.

The sophomore running back has been diagnosed with mononucleosis, according to a report from SunDevilSource.com.

ASU announced minutes before the Sun Devils' season-opening loss to Texas A&M Saturday that Ballage was ruled out due to an "illness." He made the trip to Houston, but returned to Tempe just hours before the game when the team learned his condition was contagious.

It's unclear how severe Ballage's condition is, but he is expected to miss at least a couple of games. Recovery for mononucleosis can range anywhere between two weeks to several months and could put Ballage's season in jeopardy.

Ballage was expected to be a major factor for the Sun Devils as a running back, as well as on special teams and on defense as a pass rusher. Ballage had 42 carries for 126 yards as a freshman in 2014 and had four total touchdowns for the season.

ASU coach Todd Graham will hold his weekly press conference Monday. More information regarding Ballage's status could likely be revealed then.

As seen in the Sun Devils' opener, Demario Richard and De'Chavon Hayes will likely continue to spend the most time at tailback. It appears possible slot receiver and former running back D.J. Foster could see an increase in carries. Depending on how much time Ballage misses, the Sun Devils may also use Jason Lewis and Nick Ralston — two freshmen ASU is expected to redshirt — as well as Jacom Brimhall.