Colorado's all-purpose wide receiver, Mike Pritchard, joined the Buffaloes best defensive player, Alfred Williams, on the sidelines Monday after breaking his left hand at the end of practice the day before.

Pritchard will be fitted with a combination plastic and fiberglass cast on Thursday. Coach Bill McCartney and team trainer Dave Burton said that the bone (third metacarpal) needs 6-8 weeks to heal fully. Once the swelling goes down and the pain subsides over the next week, Pritchard should be able to play in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1."I'm going to play in pain," Pritchard said. "Now it hurts but I'm confident in our trainer and come game time they'll minimize it."

Pritchard said the injury occurred when a teammate inadvertently kicked his hand during a goal line scrimmage drill. Earlier, McCartney had said it appeared that Pritchard had caught a finger in a teammate's jersey.

Williams, winner of the Dick Butkus Award as the nation's best linebacker, missed practice for the third straight day due to bronchitis and a fever.

"I'd be disappointed if we didn't get them both back for the game," McCartney said. "We can ill afford to play without Pritchard. Somebody would have to rise to another level to get to that performance."