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UCLA football: Kevin Prince out of practice yet again, but Neuheisel won't rule him out against Washington State

September 30, 2010 |  6:59 pm

UCLA starting quarterback Kevin Prince missed his third consecutive day of practice Thursday because of a knee injury, making it seem all the more likely that backup Richard Brehaut will start in the Bruins' game Saturday against Washington State.

But Bruins Coach Rick Neuheisel wasn't ready to make that likely scenario a certainty, leaving the window open, if just slightly cracked, for Prince, who injured his right knee in the second quarter of the Bruins' 34-12 win against Texas last week.   

"Richard is preparing like he will go, but I'm not ruling out the chance for Kevin to get back in there," Neuheisel said. 

Neuheisel admitted that because it's this late in the week and Prince still hasn't practiced, his chances of playing Saturday diminish. But he also said that he's not concerned about possibly playing Prince after several missed practices. That happened the week of the Stanford game, when Prince's practice time was limited because of a bruised shoulder; the Bruins lost that game, 35-0.

Prince had an MRI exam Sunday that revealed no structural damage in his knee, but the swelling required that the knee be drained that night. Neuheisel said it hadn't been drained again, and Prince, who said Wednesday that his knee felt better and that he was "expecting to play" Saturday, was unavailable for comment because only Neuheisel addressed the media Thursday after practice.  

As of Thursday, Brehaut seemed ready. He took the majority of the first-string snaps while Prince stood off to the side, holding his helmet. Backup quarterback Darius Bell also took a few snaps, but Neuheisel wouldn't say whether Brehaut would play exclusively against Washington State or whether Bell would get some snaps, too.

"Darius is ready, but, like I said, I haven't ruled anything of what we're going to do," Neuheisel said.

He added that he also doesn't have any plans to limit Prince's minutes if he is somehow able to play Saturday.

"If he's in the game, we're going to play because he can play," Neuheisel said. "I wouldn't go in with any preconceived notion. Games play themselves out." 

-- Baxter Holmes