UCLA's Kai Maiava fractures ankle
LOS ANGELES -- Junior center Kai Maiava suffered a fractured left ankle during Saturday afternoon's scrimmage, a UCLA spokesman confirmed, dealing yet another blow to UCLA's already depleted offensive line. Maiava will need surgery and is out indefinitely.
The injury occurred on the third play of the afternoon. Maiava was on the ground for a few minutes after Derrick Coleman's six-yard gain. After examining the injury, the training staff put his left ankle in a soft cast. Maiava was carted off the field as those in attendance at Drake Stadium gave him an ovation.
"He's kind of a leader and one of our best front guys, so it's a blow," UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel said.
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Maiava, a transfer from Colorado, started every regular-season game last year. He missed the EagleBank Bowl because he was academically ineligible.
Maiava's injury comes at a time when UCLA's offensive line is seemingly in a shambles.
Junior Mike Harris, who started all 13 games at right tackle last season, is suspended for the Sept. 4 season opener at Kansas State for violating team rules.
The status of junior left guard Jeff Baca, who also started every game last year, is in limbo. He is awaiting word on his academic eligibility and could miss the 2010 season.
Starting right guard Eddie Williams, a senior, missed the scrimmage because of a concussion. His return date has not been announced.
Senior Ryan Taylor figures to fill in for Maiava. Taylor played in Maiava's place in the EagleBank Bowl.
A UCLA spokesman informed Neuheisel of the severity of Maiava's injury as he was speaking to reporters.
"That's unfortunate, obviously, for our football team," Neuheisel said, shaking his head.
Blair Angulo is a correspondent for ESPNLosAngeles and contributes to the UCLA blog.