"He's getting close. Tomorrow he is going to throw the ball to the receivers for the first time," said Coach Carroll, who says Sanchez's rehab is well ahead of schedule. "This is just a day-to-day thing. We will see what happens after he throws tomorrow.
"He's on course to make a recovery by next week."
Sanchez admitted today that he will need to return to practice early next week if he plans to start the season opener at Virginia on August 30th.
"For me to play against Virginia I got to be back for game week," Sanchez said after Monday's practice. "Either Monday or Tuesday of next week I need to be at full practice."
Sanchez, like Carroll, remains very optimistic about his return and has the mindset that he is going to play.
"It's a definite possibility with the rate things are going," Sanchez said. "I'm moving around, taking drops, shuffling and doing a little squatting and it's only been a little over a week.
"If it were up to me, I'm playing."
Moala in the Middle
In 2008, Fili Moala will be the man in the middle for the Trojans defense that has the potential to be truly dominant.
"He's having a great camp," Coach Carroll said of Moala. "He's playing so hard."
Moala returned for his senior year, along with other stars on the defensive side of the ball including Rey Mauluga and Brian Cushing, to try and make a run at a national championship in 2008.
The 6-5, 295-pound defensive tackle has really taken to his new role as a team leader and has become an example for the younger players.
"When the guys get in their last year all of the years just seem to come together for them and they have so much awareness over and above the younger kids," said Carroll.
"He is just so much on his game right now that he's really a handful to deal with for the offense," Carroll said of Moala, who has had a very productive fall. "We are expecting him to have a big, big year."
Nick Perry News
The Trojans are closer to finding out the status of defensive end Nicholas Perry.
After practice today, Pete Carroll announced to the media that Perry will take a test tomorrow morning in order to finish his class.
"The test that he has to take to finish the course is tomorrow morning," Carroll said. "However long it takes to process that, I don't know."
Notes from the Field
Walking Wounded – Trey Henderson, Luthur Brown, Chris Galippo, Matt Meyer, Cary Harris, Michael Reardon, Mark Sanchez, Brian Baucham and Marc Tyler were among the players that didn't participate in Monday's practice.
Freshman defensive tackle Jurrell Casey had a real strong performance on Monday. Casey had a quarterback sack, a tackle for loss during 11-on11 and was nearly unblockable during 1-on-1 drills.
Casey has good foot speed for a player of his size and plays with great pad level. He reminds many observers of former USC defensive tackle Mike Patterson.
Fili Moala also had a very good practice at defensive tackle. Moala burst into the backfield on one play and looked like a wave crashing over Stafon Johnson stopping him for a short loss.
Safety Marshall Jones had one of his best practices of the fall. Jones broke up a pass intended for Rhett Ellison in the end zone to save a touchdown and two plays later intercepted a Mitch Mustain pass in the end zone that was intended for Travon Patterson.
Mitch Mustain connected with Allen Bradford for a short touchdown pass during 11-on-11.
Broderick Green had a short touchdown run late in practice.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden