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USC's Kristofer O'Dowd hopes to be ready by opener

August 19, 2009 | 12:13 pm

Usc_240 USC center Kristofer O'Dowd said today that he hoped his injured right knee would be healed in time for the Sept. 5 season opener against San Jose State.

O'Dowd, a junior, suffered a dislocated right knee cap during a scrimmage Monday night at the Coliseum. An MRI exam showed no ligament damage and surgery was not required.

"I'll be lucky to make it back for San Jose State," O'Dowd said. "But if not, I'll have Ohio State [on Sept. 12] for sure.... If I do need that extra week to strengthen it up, then it gives me a good opportunity to do that."

O'Dowd sat out four games in 2007 because of a dislocation of the same kneecap. He was injured on Monday when a defensive lineman fell on his leg during a running play.

"It was painful--I didn't know what to expect because a lot could have happened with the ligaments," he said. "I was praying and hoping for the best-case scenario and that's what I got."

O'Dowd began rehabilitation this morning. He will move on to flexibility exercises next week.

 "Things are really looking good," he said.

Senior Alex Parsonsis on track to start in O'Dowd's spot if he cannot return in time for the opener.

--Gary Klein

Photo: USC quarterback Mark Sanchez and center Kristofer O'Dowd against Oregon at the Coliseum on Oct. 4, 2008. Photo credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times.

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