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Phillips Says He Will Play

November 09, 2000|BILL SHAIKIN

His ankle may be killing him, but standing along the sideline is killing him too.

Defensive end Sean Phillips suffered a severely sprained left ankle against California on Oct. 14. He has sat out the last three games, two of them home games, during which Phillips stood next to the UCLA bench and rooted for his teammates.

"It was eating me up," he said. "It's the best seat in the house, but it was horrible because I wasn't playing."

Phillips replaced Kenyon Coleman in the starting lineup after Coleman required knee surgery that has apparently ended his season. Phillips will return this week, but he will see limited duty rather than return immediately as a starter, in deference to his still-healing ankle.

"It's a little sore, but I can play with pain," he said. "It's been too long. I can't sit out another game."


Rusty Williams, who starts at the other defensive end position, said he will require surgery after the season to repair a dislocated right shoulder. Williams was forced out of last week's game against Stanford when the injured shoulder refused to pop back into place.

"Usually it slips right back in," he said. "Against Oregon State, it came out three times and it went right back in."

Williams has started every game this season, and UCLA Coach Bob Toledo said Williams will probably start again Saturday.

"He'll kill me if he can't play," Toledo said, "and I'm too young to die."

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