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UCLA freshman linebacker Mique Juarez is back with the team

UCLA freshman linebacker Mique Juarez is back with the team
Mique Juarez was back with the team Monday and expected to participate in the Bruins’ evening practice. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The wait for Mique Juarez continues.

UCLA's prized freshman linebacker had rejoined the team after sorting out some personal matters, according to a person close to the situation not authorized to discuss it publicly, but he was not present at either of the Bruins' training camp practices Monday in San Bernardino.

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Juarez has missed five consecutive practice sessions going back to Friday. He caused some hubbub on social media Monday when he deleted UCLA-related pictures on his Instagram account and followed Mississippi recruiting coordinator Ben Aigamaua on one of his Twitter feeds. The Rebels were among the horde of teams that recruited Juarez coming out of North Torrance High.

On a separate Twitter account, Juarez posted that it was "nice and warm in San Bernardino. Can't wait for practice!"

UCLA Coach Jim Mora, who had called Juarez's nonattendance Friday and Saturday "an excused absence," said there was no change regarding his status when he met with reporters Monday morning and was not scheduled to speak with the media again until Thursday.

Bruins linebackers coach Scott White said Monday evening that he had spoken with Juarez.

"We've been in contact with him," White said. "He'll be just fine."

Juarez's return would spare UCLA from a second departure involving a high-profile freshman in two seasons. Tight end Chris Clark left the program last September after limited playing time in the Bruins' opener against Virginia. Clark had been considered the top player in his position in his recruiting class out of Avon (Conn.) Old Farms Prep.

Juarez was widely ranked as the top linebacker in his high school class.

Injury report

Defensive end Deon Hollins and fullback Cameron Griffin were sidelined after suffering concussions in practice Saturday.

Griffin's injury was considered the more serious of the two, with Mora allowing him to remain with his family for three or four days before returning to San Bernardino.

"We don't need him in this environment right now," Mora said of Griffin. "I would rather have him in the comfort of his home where his mom can take care of him and he can have some peace and quiet."

Hollins is part of a voluntary concussion study involving UCLA football and women's soccer players that has been commissioned by the U.S. Dept. of Defense. As part of the study, Hollins received an MRI exam and bloodwork to help better understand the effects of head trauma.

"Maybe through that we can learn something to help players down the line," Mora said.

Get it right

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Mora made offensive lineman Markus Boyer leave the field in the middle of a series to run around the field after several sloppy plays culminating in a false start. Penalties have been a focus for the Bruins throughout camp.

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