UCLA cornerback Sheldon Price dressed and practice with the team Sunday, his first live action practice action since spraining his knee Sept. 24 at Oregon State, and said he expected to play Thursday night at Arizona.
Price, in his third season as a starter, wore a brace on his right knee as he resumed his spot with the No. 1 defense in team drills and in the seven-on-seven drills. He sat out the one-on-one drills just to keep from overdoing things on his first day back.
"It feels good," Price said. "I’m able to run and stuff. I’m confident in it so I’m feeling good about it."
Price injured his knee at the end of the Oregon State game when a possible interception slipped through his hands and he stomped on the ground. He sat out against Stanford and Washington State and began doing some light running on the side last week.
"I’ve been able to open my eyes and see a lot of things that you don’t normally see when you are on the practice field," he said. "See it from a coaches standpoint and kind of getting mental reps and seeing things differently."
Price sprained the same knee last year and missed three games. He said that experience helped him get through the layoff this year.
"Last year when it happened, I kind of tried to put a timetable on it and when I didn’t meet it, my spirits kind of went down, so this time, it was just when I’m healthy, I’m healthy," he said. "When I’m able to go, I’m able to go. That’s the way I took it."
He also said he learned an important lesson about avoiding such an injury as occurred this year.
"I’m going to learn how to catch the ball so none of that happens," he said. "That’s what I’m worried about is catching the ball and making the play when it’s presented."
Andrew Abbott, who replaced Price as the starter the last two games, was back at his usual nickel back spot.