Marc Tyler not returning anytime soon

USC running back Marc Tyler was asked after Thursday's practice, of which he sat out entirely after pulling his right hamstring late in Tuesday's spring opener, if he thought he might be able to return to the field by next week.

He shook his head.

"Nope," he said.

He was then asked if he thought he might be able to return to the field before the end of spring practice and didn't provide the most convincing of answers.

"I'm gonna try to," Tyler said, "but I don't want to rush back and hurt it worse."

As soon as the injury happened -- on a pass route down the north sideline on the turf of USC's Cromwell Field -- Tyler yelled out, clearly frustrated, that he hadn't stretched.

He added to that Thursday, saying that the team's stretching patterns this spring are different than in past years. Essentially, Lane Kiffin now wants his players to complete their own personal stretching before entering the practice field in the mornings. The Trojans still do a period of dynamic stretching as a group prior to starting drills, but the session is a lot shorter than the normal drawn-out routines they used to do under Pete Carroll and last fall and spring under Kiffin.

"I didn't know that we weren't gonna stretch like we usually do," Tyler said Thursday. "I guess they want us to come in earlier and stretch before. I don't know -- I just didn't know they changed it.

"Obviously it didn't work that well for me."

Kiffin didn't appear too worried about Tyler when asked after practice about his availability for the rest of spring.

"It's a long ways away until we play a real game," he said. "Obviously we'd like to have him because he could develop his game, but hopefully he'll get healthy here and he'll still get some work in spring."

Tyler didn't do much last spring either, starting out the year sidelined with a toe injury that kept him shuffling on and off the field for the month of practices. Partly because of that, he said wasn't overly frustrated with the latest injury that looks like it will keep him out for the rest of this spring.

Still, it's another setback for USC's presumptive starting running back, who's had plenty of them over the past several years. He broke his leg as a high school senior at Oaks Christian, sprained his hip as a redshirt freshman in 2008 and severely sprained his toe in 2009.

All three injuries kept him out for extended periods.