Wednesday Practice Report

The status of several injured USC players is still in doubt for this weekend's matchup against the Washington State Cougars. Look inside for updates on Joe McKnight, Brian Cushing, Kaluka Maiava and much more.

McKnight ‘Probably won't play'

USC tailback Joe McKnight was sidelined once again on Wednesday because of turf toe and when asked if he was going to play against Washington State, the elusive running back answered, "probably not."

With each passing practice, it is becoming more unlikely that the sophomore back will be available for action this Saturday.

"It doesn't look too good for Saturday," McKnight admitted. "I ran a little bit today but it didn't feel right. It's painful when I cut so I am going to rest it tonight and try again tomorrow."

If McKnight is unavailable, the Trojans will only have Stafon Johnson, C.J. Gable, Broderick Green and Curtis McNeal healthy heading into this weekend's matchup against Washington State.

Cushing, Maiava Expect to Play

Linebackers Brian Cushing and Kaluka Maiava didn't participate in any contact drills Wednesday but both players said they expect to play on Saturday against the Washington State Cougars.

Kaluka Maiava is still recovering from a sprained foot that he suffered in the first half of last week's shutout win over Arizona State.

Maiava said he didn't practice today so he could rest his injured foot, but is very optimistic about his return.

"I felt like I needed another day to ice it up," he said. "Right now it's about ninety percent."

Linebacker Brian Cushing, who has a bone bruise in his left shoulder, said he expects to return to the practice field on Thursday and play on Saturday.

"I'm still taking it light," Cushing said after Wednesday's practice. "I'm sure I will practice tomorrow."

Cushing, who has been a key member of the Trojans' defense, said he would play through the pain.

"I got a shoulder bone bruise," Cushing said. "It's just sore, nothing that I can't play with, so I will go ahead and go with it Saturday."

"The trainers and doctors think that they are going to be ready to play," Carroll said of Maiava and Cushing.

News and Notes

- Everson Griffen, Butch Lewis, Jordan Campbell and Jordan Cameron all missed Wednesday's practice due to illness.

- Coach Carroll said that Mitch Mustain has solidified himself as the No.2 quarterback.

- Blake Ayles got some good news when team doctors revealed that he has a hip flexor, not a sports hernia. Ayles didn't practice on Wednesday but Carroll expects him to be available against Washington State.

- Jeff Byers missed practice Wednesday with a sore knee but will play Saturday.

- In a non-injury note, Mark Sanchez connected with Patrick Turner for two spectacular touchdown passes during 7-on-7. Turner made a leaping catch on one touchdown and was hit in stride in the back of the endzone on the second.

- Coach Carroll praised the play of tailback Broderick Green for the second practice in a row.

- Mike Morgan and Malcolm Smith have worked with the first-team defense in place of Brian Cushing and Kaluka Maiava and could see extended playing time this weekend.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions you can reach Kevin Carden
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