UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince's status for the season opener remains uncertain, as tests revealed a small tear in a muscle in his back.
Prince, who was injured Aug. 10, will undergo treatments in an attempt to be ready to play at Kansas State on Sept. 4.
"The doctor said that Kevin will be ready to play," Coach Rick Neuheisel insisted after practice Thursday. "They said they can have him ready to throw by Tuesday."
Prince stepped up his throwing Tuesday but had it reduced a day later. On Thursday, he ran two dozen plays in 11-on-11 drills but threw only four short passes. Prince threw two swing passes, a quick out and a screen.
"This is a three-week deal," Neuheisel said about the injury. "And we're at three weeks."
Prince, who hadn't practiced after sustaining the injury, returned to light workouts last week and appeared to be on the mend Tuesday, throwing with increased velocity. But his workout was scaled back considerably Wednesday.
If Prince cannot go, that would leave the offense in the hands of sophomore quarterback Richard Brehaut, possibly for an undetermined length of time.
Brehaut played in six games, all off the bench, as a freshman in 2009. His inexperience was on display as he struggled reading defenses and held the ball too long on pass plays too often.
But Brehaut has shown marked improvement in a year, underscored by his performance in the team's scrimmage Saturday. He threw for 186 yards and three touchdowns. Learning-curve moments still pop up. He had one pass intercepted in the scrimmage and was verbally chastised by Neuheisel for not having the team properly lined up in the scrimmage on one play.
Brehaut completed 11 of 17 passes for 124 yards and had one pass intercepted last season.
Steve Sloan and Patrick Larimore split time with the first team at middle linebacker Thursday, with the competition for the starting spot still too close to call.
Larimore, a sophomore, was getting increased reps after sitting out a week because of a sore hamstring, defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough said.
Weakside linebacker is still to be decided, but Sean Westgate appears to have the edge. Glenn Love, his competition, has been slowed by a strained neck, though he returned to full workouts Thursday.
Tight end Joseph Fauria (groin) was more active in practice Thursday and Neuheisel said, "We're hopeful he'll be part of the plan next week.
Freshmen running backs Malcolm Jones (ankle) and Jordon James (hamstring) both did a full practice Thursday.
The Bruins are going to the Rose Bowl … on Friday for a workout.
The Bruins spend one practice at the Rose Bowl each summer to familiarize themselves with the facility. The team will have a light-contact scrimmage.
Neuheisel said that the weather, which is warmer in Pasadena than it is in Westwood, would help prepare the team for the opener in steamy Manhattan, Kan.