Two USC running backs were limited with hurt knees in Sunday's scrimmage at the Coliseum, and both players have received positive signs in the days since.
Junior Curtis McNeal, who originally feared he had torn his ACL on Sunday, returned to the no-contact portions of practice Tuesday and should be back participating fully by the end of the week. He said X-rays were negative, but he has been icing the knee bruise extensively over the last two days.
“Curtis is doing good,” coach Lane Kiffin said. “He came out here and went through a lot of stuff -- not quite everything, but he's fine."
A relieved McNeal said he got the sense over the weekend that the coaches feared what he suffered was a lot worse than it turned out to be.
"Everybody was scared," McNeal said Tuesday. "I mean, I was scared for myself. You never want to see anybody get hurt in a scrimmage game when you're getting ready for the season.
"But I'm glad I only came out with a bruise."
Redshirt freshman D.J. Morgan, who was limited becaue of a sore knee during the scrimmage, underwent an MRI exam Monday, and it came back negative. It's the same knee -- right -- that he injured late in the 2009 season while at Woodland Hills Taft High and caused him to redshirt last year.
“We very safe with it, and we think that it won’t be an issue," Kiffin said.
In their absences, sophomore Dillon Baxter and freshman Amir Carlisle shared the load during 11-on-11 team drills.