USC tailback Allen Bradford, who did not suit up against Arizona State because of a lingering hip injury, will have season-ending surgery and apply for a medical redshirt year, Bradford said Thursday.
"I've been fighting through the pain for two years now, starting my freshman year," he said. "I'm just ready to get the pain over with so I don't have to worry about it anymore."
Bradford, a junior from San Bernardino, met with a hip specialist during practice. The doctor outlined several options, one of which put off surgery for a torn labrum until after the season.
But Bradford does not want to risk further injury and possibly waste a year of eligibility.
"It's worth it for my career to have the surgery now," he said. "I'd rather come back and do better than I have been doing and get more flexible and stronger.
"That's an upside. The downside is being out."
Bradford starred during spring practice and also performed well during training camp. But after not carrying the ball in USC's loss at Oregon State on Sept. 25, he told The Times that he was frustrated and wanted a larger role in a tailback rotation that included C.J. Gable, Stafon Johnson and Joe McKnight.
A few days later, however, Bradford was unable to practice because of soreness.
"That's just the type of player I am -- when I'm hurt, I don't tell them and I don't show it," he said. "But it got to the point where I could barely put on my socks."
The 5-foot-11, 225-pound Bradford played in the first three games and rushed for 57 yards and a touchdown in 14 carries.
He hopes to have surgery as soon as possible and return by June or July. Bradford would have two seasons of eligibility remaining and has said that he does not plan to transfer. On Wednesday, he added that he would not seek a change to defense upon his return.
Bradford was an outstanding linebacker and running back at Colton High.
"I put in a lot of time and effort into the running back thing -- watching film, staying late, learning everything," he said. "That's too much effort just to move back to defense."
McKnight did not practice because of a toe injury and will not make the trip to Saturday's game at Washington State, giving redshirt freshman Broderick Green a golden opportunity as the No. 3 tailback.
Meanwhile, fellow redshirt freshman Marc Tyler languishes because of a sore left quadriceps.
Tyler has had a series of physical setbacks on the left side of his body and he suspects all are related to the broken left leg he suffered during his senior season at Westlake Village Oaks Christian High.
"Everything is really tight from not doing anything for so long," he said. "I'm really happy for Broderick to finally get a chance to show what he can do. It's just hard for all these injuries to keep coming up from what happened in high school."
Linebackers Brian Cushing (shoulder) and Kaluka Maiava (foot) practiced and are on track to start against Washington State. . . . Offensive lineman Butch Lewis was absent again because of illness and will not make the trip, so Nick Howell will start at right tackle. Defensive end Everson Griffen, linebacker Jordan Campbell and receiver Jordan Cameron also will miss the trip because of illness, Coach Pete Carroll said. . . . A day after saying, "If we were playing somebody else, I'd probably go," McKnight sought to clarify his remark. "I wasn't trying to talk bad about Washington State," he said Wednesday. "It just came out wrong." . . . Receiver Vidal Hazelton did not practice after suffering a concussion Wednesday in a collision with linebacker Luthur Brown. "I went in for two more plays and everything was cloudy like a dream," Hazelton said. He has said that he wanted to redshirt because of ankle injuries, but Wednesday he said, "I'm not even thinking about that anymore," and would play this week if he is cleared. . . . Brown suffered a separated shoulder Thursday, Carroll said.