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USC receiver Marqise Lee's injury not considered serious

Coach Lane Kiffin says the Trojans' star wide receiver suffered a bone bruise in practice Friday, and Lee did not participate in drills Saturday.

August 10, 2013|By Gary Klein
  • An injury forced USC wide receiver Marqise Lee to miss Saturday's team practice session.
An injury forced USC wide receiver Marqise Lee to miss Saturday's… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)

USC star receiver Marqise Lee sat out practice Saturday, but the Trojans breathed a major sigh of relief.

Coach Lane Kiffin said the junior had suffered a bone bruise on Friday, a condition that qualified as good news for USC.

Lee, the Biletnikoff Award winner as college football's top receiver, was injured Friday after he caught a long pass and appeared to land on his right shoulder after a defender made contact. He was escorted from the practice field by athletic trainers, and carted from the practice facility with his arm in a sling, leaving the Trojans to wonder whether they had lost their most high-profile player.

Kiffin was relieved that X-rays revealed the injury was not more serious, and he said Lee was day to day.

"Obviously, that's great news," Kiffin said.

Lee was absent from the Trojans' morning workout, and USC announced that he was not practicing because of an "undisclosed injury." The junior was in uniform, sans shoulder pads, for the evening practice but did not participate in drills. He observed, held a tackling pad in his left hand to aid other receivers, caught balls while shagging for quarterbacks and worked on foot drills.

Lee was not made available to the media.

Kiffin said he learned of Lee's condition Friday night and compared the emotions to those one experiences after losing a wallet and then finding it.

"When you lose your wallet, you're really upset," he said. "But when you find your wallet, you're really right back where you started but you feel good about it. So we were excited last night but we're really back to where we started."

Kiffin said Lee should return "very soon." Asked whether Lee's workload would be scaled back to protect him from injury, Kiffin said Lee was "a little bit off right now."

"You go back to spring, he missed spring [because of a knee injury], we moved him to some different positions and now he's missed time in this camp," Kiffin said. "We've still got to get him a lot of work.

"We've got to make sure we're not relying on his athletic ability to take over. We're still putting him in a lot of situations so he can continue to improve as a receiver as he goes into his third year here."

Walker returns

Junior left tackle Aundrey Walker returned to practice after sitting out nearly a week because of an undisclosed injury.

Redshirt freshman Chad Wheeler also continued taking a majority of the snaps at left tackle with the first-team offense.

Wheeler began training camp listed as a co-starter with Kevin Graf at right tackle, but switched after Walker was injured.

On Friday, Kiffin complimented Wheeler for playing well daily against experienced seniors such as Devon Kennard and Morgan Breslin.

Quick hits

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge on Friday dismissed all charges against former USC tight end Junior Pomee, who was arrested in January. Pomee had been charged with five felony counts in connection with incidents that occurred near campus. He was removed from all team activities after his arrest. He is not on the 2013 roster and Kiffin reiterated Saturday, "We've already moved on."... Safety Su'a Cravens and receiver De'Von Flournoy returned to practice Saturday. @latimesklein

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