Sun Devils face uncertain week after QB injury

Updated: October 27, 2003, 5:28 PM ET

TEMPE, Ariz. -- A sore ankle may figure big in Arizona State's bowl future.

With Andrew Walter at the controls, the Sun Devils (4-4) should have a chance in each of their last four games -- against California, at Stanford and No. 6 Washington State and against Arizona at home Nov. 28.

But Walter sprained ligaments on both sides of his right ankle in the second quarter at UCLA on Saturday, and Sun Devils coach Dirk Koetter wasn't sure Monday whether the junior quarterback would be able to line up against the Golden Bears this weekend.

"We're making the game plans right now," Koetter said. "There's got to be an A plan and a B plan based on who your quarterback is."

In a separate news conference, Walter was optimistic after receiving reassurances from physicians and trainers.

"I'm going to give it a go," Walter said.

Koetter allowed that he would feel comfortable starting true freshman Sam Keller, who was 11-of-21 for 79 yards as Walter's replacement in the 20-13 loss to the Bruins -- especially if Keller had the benefit of a week to practicing with the first offensive unit.

Keller completed five of his first seven throws and led Arizona State to a 13-10 lead before making some rookie mistakes in the second half.

But the coach would clearly be more comfortable with a healthy Walter back -- a possibility because there was no structural damage. Walter got a pain-killing shot at halftime and warmed up for the second half, but experienced so much pain trying to push off that he deferred to Keller.

"He was throwing with all arm," Koetter said. "He had no push off his right foot. Andrew is an excellent competitor. I told you before how Andrew played through some pretty good bruises and injuries to his back in the Holiday Bowl. Andrew really wanted to go back in, but he knew he couldn't be as effective as he wanted."

The injury could heal this week because it is low on the ankle, where sprains take less time to adjust to trauma, and Walter has been fitted with a boot to protect his ankle while attending class.

The coach said the experience of a second-year starter means Walter doesn't need as much practice time this week.

"If we practice with Sam and Chad (Christensen) on the first couple of days, so be it," Koetter said. "I think Andrew can come in later in the week. We're not going to have anything in there that he hasn't done before."

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index