by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
With crunch time fast approaching in the 2007 IFL season, the injury bug continues to linger over some of the promotion’s top fighters.

The latest standout to be sidelined is Quad Cities Silverbacks’ light-heavyweight Mike Ciesnolevicz [Mike C. for short], who will be missing April 7th’s showdown with the Reno Lions in Moline, Illinois.

Mike confirmed with MMAWeekly this weekend that he will be missing the event due to his ongoing recovery from a broken nose suffered in the third round of his fight with L.A. Anacondas fighter Alex Schoenauer on February 2nd.

Though he healed from the initial injury, breathing problems arose, forcing Ciesnolevicz to undergo surgery to correct the problem, thus extending recovery time.

Siding on behalf of caution, Silverbacks’ head coach Pat Miletich made the final decision to hold Mike out of the event so he could heal 100% and return to action for the team’s third IFL match in May.

Taking Ciesnolevicz’s place in the scheduled bout April 7th against the Lions’ Vernon “Tiger” White will be former The Ultimate Fighter 1 cast member Sam Hoger.

Hoger, currently not contractually obligated to the UFC, will be making his first appearance in the IFL and will be returning to MMA for the first time since losing a majority decision to Ryoto Machida at UFC 67 in February.

Vernon White will also be making his IFL debut on April 7th, as his originally scheduled debut in January against Raphael Davis of the San Jose Razorclaws was called off by the California State Athletic Commission due to a disparage in the two fighters’ records.

In an interesting coincidence, White’s last fight was against another former cast member of TUF 1, when he lost to Bobby Southworth via unanimous decision last December at a Strikeforce event in San Jose, California.