Junior cornerback T.J. Bryant suffered a broken cheekbone in an altercation with fullback Stanley Havili last week and could miss a month after undergoing surgery Thursday, USC coach Lane Kiffin said.
Havili punched Bryant during a conditioning drill last Friday, but the injury was not discovered until Tuesday when team physicals were held.
"I was told that there was an altercation a couple days ago, but nothing injury-wise came of it," Kiffin said. "When I got off the field yesterday was when I found out he was going to have surgery today."
Bryant was expected to compete with redshirt freshman Torin Harris for a spot in the starting lineup. Kiffin said Bryant could still push for that job once he is cleared.
"As soon as he gets back, we'll throw him right back in," Kiffin said. "He seemed to be like he was having a good summer and looked good when I saw him Monday and Tuesday, which would have been post-incident. I didn't notice anything, he didn't mention anything and was ready to go."
Havili, a senior expected to contend for All-America honors, expressed remorse for the Bryant's injury.
"I feel terrible about it," Havili said. "I feel horrible about it. I talked to T.J. about it today, and we're on good terms. He understands and I understand that those things happen.
"We were all fired up. It was the last workout of the year. Emotions were high. When emotions are high, intelligence is down. I let it get the best of me, and I feel bad about it."
Kiffin said the incident was out of character for Havili.
"Sometimes people show leadership in the wrong ways and this is a situation where Stanley tried to step in to get guys to finish without the coaches being there, try to take a leadership role of getting guys to finish at a level that he is used to," Kiffin said.
"Obviously it didn't end very well."
Havili practiced before suffering a pulled hamstring, but could be punished as more information is gathered.
Kiffin was critical of the receiving corps outside of senior Ronald Johnson during the spring, but is pleased with how the group is performing through the first two days of fall camp.
"I feel a lot better about our after-Ronald receivers," Kiffin said. "I thought coming out of the spring we had one really good receiver and couldn't figure the rest of them out. Through two days, the young guys have made a bunch of plays and so have the veterans, guys that have kind of been backups here. They have really had two really good days."
-Wide receivers Kyle Prater, De'Von Flournoy and Brandon Carswell did not finish practice because of undisclosed injuries.
-Offensive tackle Matt Kalil missed a second consecutive practice because of a hamstring injury.
-Defensive end Armond Armstead (dehydration) was held out of practice.
-Running back D.J. Morgan continues to rehab from a knee injury he suffered in high school.
-Men's basketball coach Kevin O'Neill attended practice.
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