McKnight, who stayed in Los Angeles the past two days to aid USC's compliance office in answering any questions surrounding his use of an SUV, was cleared to practice and rejoined his teammates in San Francisco.
While the junior tailback is still awaiting official word on his eligibility for the Emerald Bowl, the fact that he has been cleared to practice is a very encouraging sign.
"Joe did everything he needed to do compliance-wise in L.A., so it was the right thing to get him up here right away," Carroll said. "Compliance hasn't made a final ruling, but this is a most favorable sign."
McKnight flew up to San Francisco Wednesday night and will take part in USC's practice on Thursday.
"We'll just play it out and see what happens from here," Carroll said. "In the meantime, it's great to have Joe back with us."
McKnight is the Trojans' leading rusher with 1,014 yards and 8 touchdowns on 164 carries in 2009.
SCPlaybook will have more on McKnight following USC's practice on Thursday.
McKnight has been cleared to practice but is still awaiting word on his eligibility for the Emerald Bowl.
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