or the last 11 Arizona State football practices, Chris McGaha has been limited to watching from the sidelines, raising concerns that the sure-handed wide receiver might not be ready for the start of the season.
“It’s a lot more time than I would like,” said McGaha, who had surgery to repair a fractured big toe after spring practice.
However, rest easy, Sun Devil fans. Though the junior said he still feels discomfort while running, he expects to be ready when ASU hosts Northern Arizona on Aug. 30.
McGaha, whose 61 catches for 830 yards were both team-high marks last year, has been experiencing typical post-surgery inflammation and swelling that had not subsided before ASU started fall workouts. The activity aggravated the toe, and the remedy has been rest.
“Chris could play if we needed him,” said coach Dennis Erickson, whose team holds an intrasquad scrimmage tonight at Sun Devil Stadium. “But the plan is to bring him back next week. He should be back at practice then.”
The fracture has healed as it should and the screw is set properly in the bone, McGaha said, so there are no worries that another operation is necessary. It is possible that, early in the year, he will be limited during practice in order to be ready on game day.
“I’m feeling great, but won’t know for sure until next week,” McGaha said. “I think I’ll be able to go every day.”
True freshman tight end Steven Figueroa has suffered a toe fracture similar to McGaha’s and will be out indefinitely.
“I’m not sure how long he’s out, but we were going to redshirt him anyway,” Erickson said. “It’s unfortunate for Steve, but for the team, his injury is not as urgent as others.”
The Sun Devils’ scrimmage — it is slated to begin at 7 p.m. today, with a fanappreciation session afterward — is their third of the preseason, and game conditions will be simulated as much as possible.
“Some of the kicking game will be live, and the offense will start up from whatever field position comes up,” Erickson said. “We want to put ourselves in different situations.”