Will USC 7-foot sophomore center Dewayne Dedmon, who is recovering from a broken right hand, play in the Trojans' season opener Nov. 11 against Cal State Northridge?
"Oh yeah, for sure," Coach Kevin O'Neill said Tuesday.
Dedmon's recovery from the injury he sustained Oct. 11 has been on schedule, said team athletic trainer David Borchardt.
Dedmon had the hard cast removed from his shooting hand after the Trojans' closed scrimmage Saturday against Air Force and he'll wear a soft splint that will be padded during upcoming practices.
It is probable Dedmon, an Antelope Valley College transfer whom O'Neill has touted as a future NBA lottery pick, will play against Northridge wearing a brace of some sort.
Fuller suffers tear
MRI results revealed junior forward Aaron Fuller, a transfer from Iowa, suffered a small labral tear in his left shoulder in the scrimmage.
Borchardt said they are optimistic the injury won't sideline him for any practices or games.
"We're hopeful we'll be able to treat him conservatively," he said.
Forwards Curtis Washington and Evan Smith have already suffered serious shoulder injuries this preseason.
Washington is out for the season and Smith is expected to miss six to eight weeks, O'Neill said.
There is optimism senior guard Jio Fontan could return this season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in August.
Fontan, USC's floor leader and top returning scorer, said Sunday he aims to return by Jan. 5 against Arizona State.
O'Neill didn't rule out an early return, but he said they won't rush it.
"We're never going to endanger a kid, but we're hoping for a speedy recovery," O'Neill said.
Said Borchardt: "There's always a chance, but as of right now, we're just kind of going week by week, month by month."
USC will face Long Beach State in a closed scrimmage at noon Saturday in the Galen Center. It will be USC's second and final closed scrimmage this preseason.