Irish linebacker Paul Moala faces minor setback after thumb surgery

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - One member of the Fighting Irish is facing a setback.

Former Penn high school football star and current Notre Dame linebacker Paul Moala showed up to Saturday's stadium practice in a sling.

Brian Kelly announced after practice that Moala had surgery to reattach a tendon in his thumb.

Last year, Moala saw the field primarily covering kickoffs, but in 2019 he is expected to contribute at the linebacker position. Kelly says he doesn't expect this injury to hold Moala back.

"He'll be back," Kelly said. "You want a freshman guy to be in there as much as possible but Paul is a heady kid. He's locked in. He hasn't missed any meetings, time. He was an outpatient on the surgery. Once he's cleared, he'll be back in the mix. Kiser has done a nice job in his absence. [Kiser] is a smart player too. You just feel like [Moala] missed some time but I wouldn't expect him to fall too far behind."

Kelly expects Moala back on the field either on Tuesday or Wednesday.