UCLA’s Anthony Barr undergoes knee surgery
UCLA has lost for at least a few games starting F-back Anthony Barr, who had knee surgery Friday, and the availability of 10 other players remains murky.
Barr underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage in his right knee and will be out at least three weeks. The situation for six other starters won’t be determined until later this week.
Cornerback Sheldon Price (knee), safety Tony Dye (neck) and linebacker Glenn Love (hamstring) sat out Saturday’s 45-19 loss to Stanford. Defensive tackle Justin Edison (concussion), linebacker Sean Westgate (hand) and guard Chris Ward (shoulder) were injured during the game.
The secondary has been hit particularly hard. Besides Price and Dye, safety Dalton Hilliard (shoulder) and safety Alex Mascarenas (concussion) are injured.
The Bruins play Washington State on Saturday and many of the Cougars’ formations have four wide receivers. UCLA’s injuries “limit how many packages and personnel you can provide,” Bruins Coach Rick Neuheisel said.
Neuheisel’s updates on some of the players: Price has a strained ligament. Trainers are being cautious with Mascarenas because he has had two concussions this season. Dye has been released to practice after sitting out the last two games. Hilliard is expected to play Saturday.
UCLA installed a new policy this week for reporting injuries, which includes making injured players off-limits to the media. Karl Dorrell had a similar policy during his last season as coach.
Neuheisel, angered by media reports on the status of injured players, will now discuss injuries only on Mondays and Thursdays.
His report last Thursday was that Price, Hilliard and Mascarenas would all be “game-time decisions.” None made the trip to Stanford.
Kip Smith, who has been out since the second week of the season because of a hip flexor injury, is expected to resume kicking this week.
Pressed into place-kicking duties, punter Jeff Locke has missed three of his last four extra-point tries.
“We’ve got to make extra points,” Neuheisel said. “At practice it’s not a problem. We’ll continue to work so it doesn’t become a confidence issue.”
Smith will be used only if he kicks in practice this week. “We don’t want him to revert back,” Neuheisel said. “The biggest concern is [that] he will pull the muscle again and be gone longer.”
Walk-on Joe Roberts, who has also been out because of a leg injury, and Tyler Gonzalez, the former team manager for the soccer team, are other options.
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