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UCLA NOTES

Date for Foster's Return Not Very Easy to Pinpoint

October 03, 2000|BILL SHAIKIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

DeShaun Foster vowed to play again for UCLA this season, but when that might be is anyone's guess.

Foster, the Bruins' starting tailback, suffered a broken right hand during UCLA's 38-31 victory over Arizona State on Saturday.

Doctors placed the hand in a cast Monday, though no surgery was required, and the Bruins said Foster would miss two to six weeks.

Foster said the injury occurred when he tried to straight-arm an Arizona State defender and his wrist got stuck inside the face mask. He said he now can't squeeze or grip the ball.

The school issued a vague timetable for Foster's return, according to UCLA Coach Bob Toledo, in part because of criticism that the Bruins rushed quarterback Cory Paus back from a separated shoulder. The Bruins originally indicated Paus would return for the California game Oct. 14, then started him last Saturday after doctors cleared him.

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Slowly but surely, Paus said, the soreness is dissipating and his arm strength is returning. The Sun Devils came hard after Paus, recording five sacks. The Sun Devils also were penalized when one player roughed Paus and another speared him.

Paus did not exactly appreciate the roughing and spearing, but he fully expects that opposing teams will target him, or any quarterback returning from injury.

"That's what I would do if I was a defensive coordinator, or a defensive end," Paus said. "It's not a bad idea."

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The Bruins' 21-point comeback Saturday matched the largest comeback in school history, set at Michigan in 1982. The Bruins have trailed in all five games this season and, although Toledo praised his team's resilience, he said, "I don't like the idea of coming from behind all the time. Eventually, you run out of rabbit's feet." . . . Safety Marques Anderson, who underwent outpatient surgery for an undisclosed condition last Thursday, said he felt fine but would defer to his doctor's suggestion to skip practice this week. Toledo said cornerback Jason Bell (hamstring) and defensive linemen Ken Kocher (ankle) and Rusty Williams (shoulder) also would skip practice during this bye week, with all four expected to work out next week and play against California. . . . The Cal game will start at 12:30 p.m. and will not be televised.

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