USC Injury Report: Porter Gustin undergoes toe surgery (9/13)

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

Porter Gustin underwent surgery on his big toe, putting him in doubt for the Texas game. Here’s the USC injury report from Wednesday.

USC is likely to be without a defensive starter against Texas, as head coach Clay Helton revealed some bad news for outside linebacker Porter Gustin.

“Our doctors got word last night that Porter had a small crack in his big toe that required surgery,” Helton said on Wednesday. “We did that surgery early this morning. It went very successful.”

Helton compared Gustin’s surgery to the one which repaired JuJu Smith-Schuster’s broken finger in 2015. The surgery itself does not require much recovery time but it may have come too late in the week for the linebacker to see action on Saturday. Smith-Schuster had his surgery on a Monday and was able to play that weekend.

Helton said the junior’s mindset is to push through the pain in order to play, but he also cautioned against rushing him back and risking further injury.

“We’re never going to risk a kid’s health to win a ball game,” Helton said.

For now, it will come down to the doctor’s clearing Gustin and his pain tolerance.

“He is superman. We’ll see if it happens” said Helton. “I’m more optimistic about next week than this week to be honest.”

With Gustin out, the Trojans will turn to Connor Murphy at the predator linebacker position. Murphy has spent the week working with the first team, while defensive end Christian Rector could also see time in that spot.

USC Injury Report:

  • Out for season: K Michael Brown (knee), LB Tayler Katoa (knee), CB Jonathan Lockett (hip), S Isaiah Pola-Mao (shoulder)
  • Out: OLB Hunter Echols (hip), TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe (hip), DL Liam Jimmons (ankle), OT Nathan Smith (knee), DL Marlon Tuipulotu (knee)
  • Doubtful: OLB Porter Gustin (shoulder/toe),
  • Questionable:  DL Jacob Lichtenstein (back), DL Jay Tufele (back), WR Keyshawn “Pie” Young (hamstring)
  • Probable: S Bubba Bolden (knee), OL Chuma Edoga (knee), DL Rasheem Green (toe), LB John Houston (neck), WR Michael Pittman (ankle)

Right tackle Chuma Edoga is on pace to play against the Longhorns even though he sat out of practice once again on Wednesday. The lineman sprained his wrist last weekend and will be given another day to let it heal up before the Trojans take on Texas. The plan is to wrap Edoga’s hand in a club and see how he functions on Friday, Helton said.

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Weakside linebacker John Houston was limited again on Wednesday after suffering a stinger during the Stanford game. Helton indicated he has made progress this week. His status for Saturday does not appear in question.

Meanwhile, defensive lineman Rasheem Green was pulled from practice to protect his sore toe. Despite the knock, Helton expects the junior to play versus Texas.

Receiver Michael Pittman is more of a doubt after partially participating in practice on Wednesday. His recovery from a high ankle sprain kept him out the first two weeks of the season and he is now in a race against time to play in Week 3.

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One player who will definitely not suit up on Saturday is Marlon Tuipulotu. The freshman defensive lineman sprained his knee against Stanford and has not practiced all week. His injury could keep him out anywhere from one to three weeks, but without any practice time this week, Helton called his chances to go this weekend doubtful.