Tailback Skip Hicks' season might be over. Still struggling to come back from the arthroscopic knee surgery he had the first week of fall camp, Hicks carried 10 times for 52 yards in Saturday night's victory over Fresno State. But the result was a swollen knee.

If Hicks, a junior, is to have UCLA petition for him to redshirt this season, he cannot play in another game.

"I'm not optimistic," Coach Terry Donahue said of Hicks. "There's something wrong with his knee."

Hicks is expected to undergo an MRI test before a final decision is made.


Defensive end Phillip Ward tore a ligament in his right knee Saturday. No surgery is contemplated at this time. If the knee shows improvement, Ward could postpone the surgery and return in three or four weeks. . . . The diagnosis is more favorable for defensive tackle Travis Kirschke, who has a sprained ankle, and safety Shaun Williams, who has a thigh bruise. Both have improved enough to be optimistic that they will be back by UCLA's next game, Oct. 14 against Arizona.

Linebacker Donnie Edwards, who has played less than one quarter in the last three games because of a compression fracture in his neck, has progressed to the point where he might also be ready for Arizona. That's assuming, of course, Edwards is cleared to play by Pacific 10 officials who are investigating charges that he received money from a sports agent. . . . Donahue expects to resolve by week's end the status of defensive back Ted Nwoke, who was suspended for one game for violating team rules.

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