Roll out with foot injury

Times Staff Writer

After proclaiming himself free of pain after Saturday’s game, UCLA junior swingman Michael Roll ruptured a tendon in his left foot at practice Monday and will be out indefinitely.

Roll will have an MRI exam Wednesday, according to a UCLA statement. Roll suffered the same injury at practice Nov. 3 and sat out UCLA’s first seven games.

He had been struggling with pain in the left foot since last summer. If the injury ends Roll’s season, he will be eligible for a redshirt season because he would have played in only six games.


The NCAA redshirt rule is that a player can play in only 30% of a team’s total regular-season games and only in the first half of a season.

Before Roll’s injury Monday it had been only good news on the personnel front for the Bruins (12-1). Point guard Darren Collison practiced for the first time without his brace since he sprained his left knee Nov. 2. Center Lorenzo Mata-Real returned to practice after he strained his left groin last week, an injury that caused the senior to sit out the UC Davis game.

And backup guard Mustafa Abdul-Hamid, who had been unable to practice since having a stress reaction in his right foot Dec. 6, was cleared to practice. Although Abdul-Hamid isn’t expected to get major game minutes, his inability to practice has kept Russell Westbrook from working as the shooting guard, his starting position. Instead, Westbrook has been working against Collison at point guard in practice.

Coach Ben Howland had announced last month that sophomore forward James Keefe, who is recovering from preseason shoulder surgery, probably would be a redshirt this season but that a final decision wouldn’t be made until after the first four conference games. Howland said Keefe might not be a redshirt if the Bruins lost a key player.

UCLA remained fifth in both the Associated Press writers’ poll and the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll as the Bruins head into Pacific 10 Conference play this week.

UCLA’s first league opponent, Stanford, which was 23rd in the first AP preseason poll and moved as high as 20 before suffering an upset loss at Siena, moved back into the poll at No. 24 after a seven-game winning streak and the return of sophomore center Brook Lopez, who had been academically ineligible.


Washington State remained fourth this week, making the Pac-10 the only conference with two teams in the top five.