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UCLA FOOTBALL

UCLA offensive tackle Jeff Baca has surgery for broken ankle

Baca, a starter in 2009 who was academically ineligible last season, was being counted on as a starter this season. Now the Bruins don't know if he'll be ready for fall camp.

April 01, 2011|By Chris Foster
  • UCLA offensive lineman Jeff Baca underwent surgery Thursday to repair a broken ankle.
UCLA offensive lineman Jeff Baca underwent surgery Thursday to repair… (UCLA )

Offensive tackle Jeff Baca had surgery Thursday night after suffering a broken ankle in practice and will be lost to the UCLA football team for an indefinite period.

Baca, injured during an 11-on-11 drill, was expected to be a starter this season. Stan Hasiak and Connor Bradford filled in at Baca's spot during the remainder of practice Thursday.

UCLA officials said they did not know whether Baca, a junior, would return for fall camp in August.

Hasiak, who will be a sophomore, played three games in 2009 but was also suspended twice. Bradford, who will be a junior, has never played in a game.

Offensive Coach Bob Palcic did not rule out shuffling players on the line. Sean Sheller started 10 games at tackle last season but was moved to guard this spring.

Will a UCLA quarterback blossom in the spring?

Baca started 13 games in 2009, but was academically ineligible last season. He also missed some practices last fall because of a stress fracture in his lower left leg.

The injuries mounted for UCLA a year ago, starting in August and continuing through the season. Center Kai Maiava (broken ankle), defensive end Datone Jones (broken foot), quarterback Kevin Prince (knee injury), wide receiver Jerry Johnson (broken ankle), cornerback Anthony Jefferson (broken foot), linebacker Patrick Larimore (separated shoulder), F-back Damien Thigpen (broken clavicle), and linebacker Jared Koster (broken collarbone) all required surgery and missed all or part of the season.

During the off-season, punter Jeff Locke (hip), quarterback Darius Bell (shoulder), free safety Dalton Hilliard (ankle), defensive end Keenan Graham (hip) and wide receiver Shaquelle Evans (shoulder) required surgery.

chris.foster@latimes.com

twitter.com/cfosterlatimes

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