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A Fragile "O" Line

Looks like Sam Baker is on the shelf for the next couple of day with a rib injury.

USC's All-American left tackle was forced to watch practice again today, mysterious rib-area soreness preventing him from participating.

"[Monday's] practice was the first one I missed in four years," said Baker, a fifth-year senior. "I didn't like the feeling."

Team physicians were still trying to determine what is causing Baker discomfort. He has had X-rays and said he was scheduled for more tests today.

Baker said he was bothered by pain last week. The condition worsened to the point that he could barely get into his stance during Sunday night's scrimmage at the Coliseum.

These are the worst type of injuries because they are hard to diagnose and take a long time to heal.

From Wolf's blog:

Tackle Sam Baker has a slightly cracked rib and is day-to-day. He said he will miss the next scrimmage.

Well either it is cracked or not, slightly does not cut it to me. I have also had cracked ribs and they are no fun to live with so the doc's need to get this right and get him patched up as soon as they can. Baker is just too important not to have on the field, his leadership is key to make the hole needed so the offense can be productive.

Baker is not the only one.

Drew Radovich, who was projected to start at right tackle, has not practiced because of a back injury. Sophomore Charles Brown has worked in his place and is appears on track to start the Sept. 1 opener against Idaho.

Brown, however, worked in Baker's spot this morning and sophomore Thomas Herring took snaps at right tackle.

I understand that these things happen. Our guys practice hard and that ultimately means they play hard. We'll get them back so I'm not concerned about their production, but I hope they get back soon. It is all about chemistry.