- Peter Yoon, ESPNLosAngeles.com
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LOS ANGELES -- UCLA backup center Anthony Stover did not play in the Bruins' 73-63 loss to California on Saturday because of a tendon injury in his left foot, but is expected to be back Wednesday against USC.
Stover, a 6-foot-10 sophomore defensive specialist, injured his foot during the first half Thursday against Stanford but played the rest of that game. He said he woke up the next morning in a lot of pain and went to see the team trainer. He had an MRI exam and X-Ray and both came back clear.
"It should be fine," Stover said. "I should be practicing on Monday and playing on Wednesday."
UCLA could have used Stover's defensive presence Saturday against a Cal team that shot 51.9 percent from the field and scored nearly half of its points in the paint. Stover, a fan favorite because of the defensive energy he brings, has 32 blocked shots. Coach Ben Howland said he would have liked to play Stover, but that it wasn't worth the risk of further damage.
"I thought it was better to try to get him back to being healthy by the time we play again on Wednesday," Howland said.
Stover told Howland before the game that he didn't think he could play. By halftime, he said he felt like he could have gone in, but thought Howland made a good decision by not using him.
"I feel like today my foot could have supported me but I think coach Howland made a good decision and was thinking for the long run instead of this one game," Stover said.