Reserve tailback DeShaun Foster practiced Wednesday for the first time since suffering a sprained knee ligament Oct. 17 against Oregon, a sign that his recovery is going well but not that he will play Saturday against Stanford.
"Our plan is not to play him unless we get some injuries to other tailbacks," Coach Bob Toledo said. "So he's not going to play probably."
In other words, he's fourth string for a game at the Rose Bowl in which UCLA will mostly rely on starter Jermaine Lewis and Keith Brown, with Mark Reynosa likely to get a chance if the expected blowout materializes. But the appearance at Spaulding Field of Foster, a freshman whose average of 5.3 yards per carry leads the team, is an indication his rehabilitation is ahead of schedule.
A return to action next week at Oregon State would be a game earlier than the Bruins had originally hoped. Wednesday, during a light workout, he did not run at full speed, but did make several hard cuts.
"They feel he's made a lot of progress," Toledo said of the medical staff. "We're excited. But they still have reservations."
The Bruins cut practice short for the second day in a row while nursing several nagging injuries. "It's probably the most beat up we've been since I've been head coach here," Toledo said.