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UCLA football: Center Kai Maiava will miss last week of spring practice

April 19, 2010 |  3:55 pm
UCLA center Kai Maiava will miss the remainder of spring practice with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, according to a source inside the UCLA program.

UCLA-logo Maiava will not require surgery and should be ready when practice resumes in August. He was injured during Friday’s scrimmage when a defensive player landed on his knee.

It’s the latest in a line of injuries that has slowed the Bruins’ offense plugging holes. Wide receiver Josh Smith, expected to be a big-play producer, is out with a knee injury. Tackle Nik Abele, who is contending for a starting spot, has been sidelined with ongoing neck problems.

The knee injury is the latest problem for Maiava, who anchored the Bruins offensive line last season. He was academically ineligible for the EagleBank Bowl in December. He also missed practices early in spring because of a sprained right shoulder.

The Bruins do not have an immediate drop-off at center with Maiava out. Ryan Taylor has handled the position in his absence before. But after Taylor, experience gets thin. Greg Capella, a redshirt freshman last fall, has been working as the third-string center, but the growing pains have been evident this spring. Jeff Baca, a starter at left guard, can also play center.

-- Chris Foster

Chris.foster@latimes.com

Twitter.com/cfosterlatimes

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