Jon Budmayr, UW football vs. UNLV

Wisconsin quarterback Jon Budmayr warms up on the sidelines in the fourth quarter of the Badgers' 41-21 victory over UNLV in the 2010 season opener at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Jason McMahon/The Capital Times

University of Wisconsin quarterback Jon Budmayr has made dramatic improvement from the nerve problem in his right elbow that caused him to miss the entire football season.

Budmayr, who underwent surgery early in the season, suffered a setback in December which prevented him from throwing.

Not only has Budmayr resumed throwing, his arm is about 90 percent healthy, UW coach Bret Bielema said during a news conference on Wednesday.

Budmayr has been back home in Woodstock, Ill., during Christmas break, but he provided Bielema with an update recently.

“Jon is coming along a lot faster than initially they thought in the month of December,” Bielema said. “He literally went through a tough couple days, he was having a lot of pain.

“From that day forward, (he) has miraculously come back. There’s something that happened that’s really triggered him to get back healthy in a short amount of time.”

Budmayr, who will be a junior next season, and Curt Phillips, who will be a senior, are the two most experienced quarterbacks on the roster. Phillips is recovering from a third ACL tear in the same knee and is working out at home in Kingsport, Tenn.

“I know (Phillips) is very positive about his health as well,” Bielema said.

Bielema added there is a chance both quarterbacks could be involved during spring practices, although it’s too early to know to what extent.

“I think they’ll both be involved in the spring,” Bielema said.

Meanwhile, linebackers Mike Taylor and Ethan Armstrong both underwent hip surgeries this month and will miss spring workouts.

Bielema said Taylor, the team’s leading tackler in 2011 with 150 stops, played with the injury for most of the season.

“But everything was pretty positive there ... very excited about the procedure,” Bielema said.

Armstrong had surgery on his right hip two weeks before the Rose Bowl. He was injured in the regular-season finale against Penn State and left the field in an ambulance. He had another recent surgery on his left hip. He is considered to be a leading candidate to replace departed senior Kevin Claxton as the starter outside on the strong side.

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