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Friday, August 19, 2011
Woods' ankle good enough to practice

By Ramona Shelburne

Robert Woods' long-lingering right ankle injury isn't 100 percent just yet, but it was good enough to go through all of Friday's practice at full speed.

Woods said he still favors the ankle, which he initially injured playing in a pickup basketball game back in April, on some routes and making certain cuts, but it isn't causing him much pain or affecting his explosiveness anymore.

"I was supposed to do just a few drills, but today I felt good and they let me keep going," said Woods, who started all 13 of USC's games as a true freshman last season and is expected to be one of the Trojans top weapons on offense.

"I am pretty shocked at how long it's taken. At first I thought it was one of those injuries that you take a couple weeks off or run it off and hopefully it'll go away, but it is one that lingered. But I'm taking care of it and as of now it feels good."

Woods said he thought he was healthy enough to play in USC's scrimmage on Sunday morning, but the final decision will be up to Lane Kiffin, who is balancing the need to get Woods enough work before USC's season opener September 3 against Minnesota, with Woods' long-term importance to the team's offense.

Kiffin said Friday that he's already treated Woods a bit differently than he would other players because of how comfortable he is with Woods' grasp and comfort in the offense.

"Maybe somebody that didn't have his background in the offense, maybe we would've pushed even more," Kiffin said. "We just want to make sure he's right physically, because we know he'll be right mentally."

Woods was the Pac-10 Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2010 and was named to numerous freshman All-American teams. He led USC with a team high 65 catches for 792 yards and six touchdowns. His 1,817 all-purpose yards is a USC freshman record.