Football News from Tuesday

While reports from Tuesday practice were positive about the status of Matt Ware, other information has become available. Also, here's the latest on Rodney Leisle, a back-up linebacker's run in with campus police, and more...

Head Coach Karl Dorrell and cornerback Matt Ware were fairly upbeat about Ware's potential recovery from his high ankle sprain last night after practice.

Ware said he was pretty certain he couldn't play against Stanford but seemed hopeful about playing against Washington State next week. He said, "I'm making progress. It feels a lot better. There's a lot more strength in it than the day before. I got out of the boot on Saturday."

Dorrell said, "Hopefully he'll be able to get back as soon as he can. Getting out of the boot is a positive. Most of the swelling is down now. He just has to strengthen it and do the treatment he needs to do in getting his mobility back. We don't know the time frame."

However, reports from good sources late Tuesday night indicate that Ware's injury is more serious, involves ligament damage, and he could be out for longer than what was indicated Tuesday at practice, possibly the rest of the season.

Defensive tackle Rodney Leisle also is trying to recover from a high ankle sprain, and was still in a boot as of Tuesday at practice. He said, "It will take however long my body takes to heal. It all depends on how much you ice it and how much you rest it. It varies from person to person. I'm still in a boot and it's already Tuesday. It doesn't look pretty from here."

Leisle didn't give any indications that he'd be back in time for the Washington State game either.

Dorrell said that a CAT scan was performed on Leisle but, as of Tuesday night after practice, he hadn't received the results. While Leisle said he had not had an MRI done as of yet, sources said Tuesday night that he will have one done soon to determine if there was any ligament damage similar to Ware's injury.

When asked how the injury occurred and whether it was a cheap shot, Leisle said: "An offensive tackle cut me from the outside. Wash it a cheap shot? Probablly not for them. It was a legal block. We had a changed call on the play, and I didn't get off in time. It probably could be my fault. I probably should have gotten my feet out of the way. But these things happen all the time in the course of a game."

UCLA announced Tuesday that redshirt freshman linebacker Xavier Burgess was arrested by UC Police Monday evening for verbally threatening a campus parking attendant.

Dorrell found out about Burgess's situation early Tuesday morning. Whether Dorrell will institute disciplinary action for Burgess, he said: "That would be determined at some point, but we need to find out more facts about what happened."

The Los Angeles Times said that Burgess was still being held Tuesday night at the Los Angeles Sheriff's substation in West Hollywood, unable to post a $50,000 bond.

Dorrell said that Burgess hadn't practice much recently, suffering from a hip strain in the several weeks ago.

Dorrell dealt with some more serious personal news Tuesday. The wildfire in Stevenson Ranch, an area near Santa Clarita, was threatening his home. His family – his wife and two children – had to be evacuated. He said: "The fire was close yesterday, and then ended up getting real close today so they evacuated the neighborhood. They started evacuating our neighborhood when it was less than a mile from our subdivision. I found out they evacuated right when we started practice. And my wife was on her way to Westwood. My family is safe. I feel more for the families that have lost their homes and loved ones. That's more of a tragedy. My family is safe, and they're here in Westwood, and we'll just see what happens if they can contain the fire. But my family is here and safe, and that's all that counts. We'll stay in a hotel tonight. The kids get to hang out with dad tonight."

Other UCLA coaches have homes that were close to fires, including wide receiver coach Jon Embree, who lives a few miles from Dorrell, but they weren't threatened as of Tuesday.

-- Dave Ball was named a semi-finalist for the Lombardi Award, one of the twelve finalists in the nation.

The Lombardi Award is presented annually to the nation's top lineman, even though a couple of linebackers and a tight end are among the finalists.


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