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Thomas dislocates shoulder again but vows to play in bowl

Times Staff Writer

USC received a scare on Tuesday when starting cornerback Terrell Thomas was carted from the field after dislocating his left shoulder.

Thomas, a junior, emerged from the locker room with his left arm in a sling. He said he would probably rest a few days but would play in the Rose Bowl against Michigan on Jan. 1.

“They can’t stop me from playing,” he said. “I’ve been playing with it all year.”

Thomas dislocated his shoulder a few days before the opener against Arkansas but played against the Razorbacks and intercepted a pass. He said he also dislocated the shoulder against Arizona and Arizona State.

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On Tuesday, he was injured during a passing drill while covering freshman receiver Travon Patterson.

Thomas said he would meet with trainers to consider surgery on his left shoulder, but not until after the Rose Bowl.

Mozique McCurtis worked in Thomas’ place and said he would be ready if needed against Michigan. Kevin Thomas, trying to come back from a broken foot, also practiced in the spot.

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Offensive tackle Kyle Williams returned after missing Monday because of personal issues.

Williams said he had been struggling after his play in the Trojans’ upset loss against UCLA but felt better after meeting with Coach Pete Carroll and offensive line coach Pat Ruel.

“That week after the game was pretty hard,” said Williams, who was called for three false starts. “You try to forget about it but it seems like everywhere you’ve turned you’re just getting reminded of it.

“I just had to get my head on straight.”

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Williams, a fifth-year senior, said Carroll on Monday gave him a copy of “The Inner Game of Tennis,” a book that shaped Carroll’s coaching philosophy. Earlier this season, Carroll gave the book to defensive lineman Lawrence Jackson when the fourth-year junior was putting too much pressure on himself.

“I wish I had known about it sooner,” Williams said. “I’m about halfway done and it’s really helped me be not so critical and just relax.”

Matt Spanos, awaiting word on his eligibility for the Rose Bowl, continued to take snaps with the first team at right tackle.

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Running back Chauncey Washington said an MRI exam revealed that he suffered a torn ligament in his left knee against Oregon on Nov. 11, but that it had healed and he was close to returning to full strength.... Former USC quarterback Matt Leinart, who is now with the Arizona Cardinals, and USC women’s basketball player Brynn Cameron visited campus with their 2-month-old son, Cole. Cameron is redshirting this season.

gary.klein@latimes.com


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