Jaleel Reed, the leading wide receiver for the University of Maine football team, will miss the next four weeks after having surgery on his left thumb Wednesday.

Reed, a junior from East Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, was injured in Saturday’s 20-16 victory over Albany. He had been playing with an injured right thumb all season, but landed on his left thumb early in the game. He did not make a catch in the victory, which was Maine’s third in a row.

“He was in pain,” said Joe Harasymiak, Maine’s head coach. “After the game he saw the trainer. On Sunday, it was very swollen and black and blue.”

Harasymiak said Reed visited a hand specialist Wednesday morning. “Ten hours later he had surgery,” said Harasymiak.

Reed leads Maine in catches (18), yards (321) and touchdowns (three) in five games. He averaged 17.8 yards per catch, which is second on the team to freshman Earnest Edwards (19.6).

“It’s a huge loss for us,” said Harasymiak. “He’s a playmaker and had been making a lot of plays for us this year. He was coming along, too, in his assertiveness as a player. You could see the player he was turning into. You could see him taking the next step in his football career, as well as life.”

Reed could return for Maine’s final game, at home against New Hampshire on Nov. 19.

He will be replaced in the lineup by Marquise Adams (nine catches, 102 yards) and Edwards (eight catches, 157 yards, two touchdowns).

Reed had his best game of the season in the opener, a 24-21 loss at Connecticut, when he caught eight passes for 169 yards and a touchdown. He missed one game because of suspension.

The Black Bears have won three games in a row to even their overall record at 3-3. They are 2-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association and will play at Rhode Island on Saturday at noon.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH

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