Quarterback Kevin Prince acknowledged Tuesday he still is not at full strength as he tries to recover from a sprained shoulder, but said he should be ready to go by UCLA's game against Texas on Saturday at the Rose Bowl.
"Not 100 percent yet, but very close," he said. "I’m still not getting the full velocity that I have when I’m 100 percent, but I was at least able to get the balls out and complete them in practice today and do the things I needed to do."
Prince left the Sept. 3 season opener against Houston after landing hard on his head and shoulder early in the second quarter. He practiced sparingly last week and threw very little as he complained of pain on longer throws, but said he could have played in an emergency against San Jose State.
"The worry was that if I played and got hit on it again, it would get a lot worse because it wasn’t fully healed yet and it’s still not 100 percent healed," Prince said. "We're thinking by Saturday that it should be good to go. I was ready in case of emergency on Saturday, but they just didn’t want to risk the re-injury of it."
It's unclear if Prince will start Saturday against Texas even if he is fully healthy. Coach Rick Neuheisel said he wouldn't name a starter until game day and hinted again that he might play both Prince and Richard Brehaut in the game.
"I have my thoughts as to what situations call for whom and when to make changes at that position," he said.
Last weekend against San Jose State, both quarterbacks were supposed to be available, and Neuheisel said both were, but Brehaut played the whole game to give Prince's shoulder more time to heal.
"He wasn’t 100 percent and we didn’t want to retard the recovery by having it hit again," Neuheisel said. "Things are always better off fully healed than becoming nagging so I felt it was the prudent thing to do."
Prince said it was difficult sitting out, but he knew he would play only in an emergency and that it was the rightthing to do.
"It’s a long season and that was only the second game of the year," he said. "It’s not worth risking to be out four weeks if I can be back this week. That made sense to me and obviously Richard did a good job and got us the win."