These two articles concern me just a bit... You HAVE to start the season healthy...
Monday, August 18, 2008
USC QB Sanchez hopes to be healthy for opening game
LOS ANGELES -- USC quarterback Mark Sanchez, who dislocated his left kneecap and was carted off the practice field earlier this month, is feeling much better and hopes to be ready when the No. 3 Trojans open the season at Virginia on Aug. 30.
"I'm optimistic about it, we're ahead of schedule," Sanchez said after taking some drops, throwing some passes and doing a bit of light jogging Monday. "Everything today felt good. That's a good sign. If it were up to me, I'm playing. [But] I want to be ready for the whole season. It's a marathon, not a sprint."
Sanchez, the projected starter for Southern California, was injured Aug. 8 after making a throw and landing awkwardly. He was taken for X-rays and an MRI, and team doctors said there is no ligament, cartilage or bone damage.
"It's painful to try to flex it too much, bend it all the way," Sanchez said. "It's more uncomfortable than anything. The swelling is mostly gone. For me to play against Virginia, I've got to be back Monday or Tuesday of next week. It's very possible. I can't not practice all week, do my rehab, fly to Virginia and play. I'll say Tuesday at the latest.
"As far as I'm concerned, I'm going to play. That's the way I've got to look at it. We'll be fine either way."
The Trojans will be heavily favored at Virginia, with or without Sanchez. Their other scholarship quarterbacks are third-year sophomore Mitch Mustain and redshirt freshman Aaron Corp. Mustain redshirted last season after transferring from Arkansas, where he started eight games as a freshman two years ago. The Razorbacks won all eight games.
Mustain and Corp have shared quarterback duties in Sanchez's absence, although Corp did most of the work with the first team in the past couple of days.
"He's getting close," Trojans coach Pete Carroll said of Sanchez. "He's going to throw the ball to receivers for the first time [Tuesday]. We'll see what happens. He's on course to make a recovery by next week."
Carroll said there's no deadline for Sanchez to be able to practice so he can play at Virginia, but added: "We'd love to have him for the week of preparation."
Sanchez, a fourth-year junior, started three games last season in place of injured John David Booty. He completed 69 of 114 passes for 695 yards and seven touchdowns with five interceptions in seven games.
After playing at Virginia, USC will have a week off before facing No. 2 Ohio State on Sept. 13 at the Los Angeles Coliseum in an early-season showdown between two of the country's highest-ranked teams.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Trojans RB McKnight sidelined again with hyperextended elbow
ESPN.com news services
USC running back Joe McKnight missed more practice this weekend with another injury.
Joe McKnight could bid to become USC's workhorse in the backfield after showing moderate promise as a freshman.
According to coach Pete Carroll, McKnight suffered a hyperextended right elbow in a scrimmage at the Coliseum on Saturday and sat out Sunday's practice with a near full-length brace on his arm, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Carroll told reporters after practice McKnight could miss several more workouts but downplayed the injury.
"It's not damaged or anything like that," Carroll said. "I don't think it will be but a couple of days."
McKnight was expected, along with junior Stafon Johnson, to spearhead USC's ground game after showing promise as a freshman.
McKnight, a 6-foot, 200-pound sophomore, is among a cadre of six talented running backs vying for playing time with the Trojans.
McKnight ran for 540 yards on 94 carries for a 5.7 per-carry average in 2007, when he rushed for three touchdowns.
The Trojans also used him extensively as a receiver last season, when he caught 23 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown.
This summer, McKnight was sidelined for parts of other practices after a teammate accidentally closed a door on his right hand, fracturing the tip of a finger and slightly injuring another, the Times reported.
He has also missed practice with a skin irritation.
The Trojans, ranked No. 3 in AP's preseaon poll and No. 2 in USA Today's coaches poll, open their season at Virginia on Aug. 30 before a highly anticipated showdown against Ohio State (No. 2 AP, No. 3 USA Today).
They host the Buckeyes Sept. 13.
McKnight declined to comment to the Times on Sunday.
"It's unfortunate, Joe keeps coming up with something," Carroll said, according to the Times. "He has missed a lot of practice already and it's killing him. He hates the fact that he has. The fingers are fine, he's ready to go, but something else popped up."