Ailing Leak expected to be ready for LSU

Published October 10, 2005

GAINESVILLE - Quarterback Chris Leak 's shoulder injury prevented him from practicing last week, but coach Urban Meyer said Sunday morning he expects Leak to play Saturday at No.10 LSU.

Leak reinjured his throwing shoulder Oct.1 against Alabama and aggravated it Saturday against Mississippi State. He left for several minutes and was replaced by freshman Josh Portis .

"I called him (Saturday night), and he said it didn't feel as bad as it did after the Alabama game," Meyer said. "But any time a quarterback doesn't practice, it affects his throwing."

McDONALD'S RETURN?: Junior defensive end Ray McDonald likely will return for the Georgia game Oct.29, though he could play at LSU. McDonald partially tore a ligament in his right knee Sept.17 against Tennessee.

"He ran on game day; they had him out there doing some running," Meyer said. "The doctor is going to have a very thorough follow-up (today). He looks to me like he's going to be able to do something this week, but every indication is that it's for sure Georgia. But we'll know more (today).

"He's coming along. Our strength coach is very involved with our doctors, and it's been pretty positive to this point."

NELSON'S EMERGENCE: Junior safety Reggie Nelson had a fumble recovery, two sacks and two touchdown-saving tackles against Mississippi State.

"I love Reggie Nelson; he's like one of my favorite players on the team," senior defensive end Jeremy Mincey said. "He comes with his A game every game. He doesn't play as much, but when he's in there, he makes a huge impact on the game."

"He's earned the right to start," Meyer said of the junior college transfer. "The problem is he plays nickel, and a lot of it is just the learning curve. But he certainly has earned an opportunity to start."