Every football program battles injuries as much as it does opposing teams on the field, but the USC Trojans face even more difficulty managing reduced squad numbers as well. Steve Sarkisian’s answer to that during spring camp is all about precaution.
Tuesday, injuries were a big talking point in the running back corp which had just one scholarship running back, Tre Madden, available. Buck Allen sat out with a rolled ankle.
“My big thing with Buck is I just don’t want [the rolled ankle] to linger,” Sarkisian said. “I don’t want to be talking about this thing on April 19th after the spring game. I want to get him healthy, get him feeling good and when we do we’ll be able to back off Tre a little bit.”
Sarkisian noted that Madden has picked up the slack in practice, as have fullback Jahleel Pinner and walk on James Toland, but there is concern about the work load taking its toll.
Similar caution is being taken with safety Su’a Cravens, who sprained his knee during Saturday’s scrimmage at the Coliseum. Sarkisian echoed that Cravens will be held out as a precaution until he is fully healthy so that the injury doesn’t linger beyond the spring.
At the same time, Sarkisian praised oft-injured wide out George Farmer for shaking off an injury scare on Saturday to fully participate in Tuesday’s practice.
“As you’re coming back from a knee injury, half of it physical of the knee getting physically right. The other half is mental, of believing that your knee is right,” Sarkisian said.
Farmer tweaked his knee on Saturday, but impressed Sarkisian with his lack of fear coming back on Tuesday: “He’s getting stronger mentally about what he can handle and how he can bounce back from it. So that’s encouraging for us.”