Muhammad (flu) misses practice again

LOS ANGELES -- UCLA leading scorer Shabazz Muhammad, still suffering from flu-like symptoms, sat out of practice Tuesday but is expected to play Thursday against Washington, coach Ben Howland said.

Muhammad, a 6-foot-6 freshman forward, became ill last week and missed a practice but scored 22 points at UCLA's overtime loss to USC last Wednesday. He also practiced Friday and Saturday but was feeling too weak to go on Tuesday.

"I’m still coming down from it," Muhammad said. "It’s really been hard. I’m just making sure I’m eating right and staying healthy."

Howland said Muhammad had a chest X-ray and blood work done "to rule out anything that might be beyond normal" but figures it's simply a case of Muhammad needing to get his appetite back. Muhammad is down about nine or 10 pounds.

"The trainer told him last night, 'Make sure you go out and eat a good meal,' and he went out and had sushi," Howland said. "I don't know that sushi was filling enough for him because he said he ate a lot of it. We're now being very specific about what to eat to get enough nutrition."

Howland said Muhammad met with a dietician on Tuesday and that "the dietician gave him specific orders."