McClain improving, expected to play

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Alabama coach Nick Saban said Wednesday he expects junior linebacker Rolando McClain to be able to play Thursday night against Texas in the Citi BCS National Championship Game.

McClain, this year's Butkus Award winner and the centerpiece of the Crimson Tide’s defense, did very little in practice Tuesday because of a stomach virus. He also missed Tuesday’s media day session.

McClain is expected to go through the team’s walk-through at the Rose Bowl later today, and according to Saban, is improving.

The reality is that there's no way McClain would miss this game, not with a stomach virus. He nearly broke his hand last season in a game and kept playing. He's as tough as they come.