Tua Tagovailoa injury: Alabama QB returns to practice Wednesday, LSU status remains uncertain

No. 1 Alabama will host No. 2 LSU on Nov. 9 in the biggest game of the 2019 season, and the Crimson Tide could have their star player back in the lineup. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sat out the 48-7 win over Arkansas on Saturday after undergoing ankle surgery this week but should be back at practice by Wednesday, according to coach Nick Saban.

“We’ll just have to see what he can do,” Saban told reporters on Monday. “Evaluate his mobility and his performance. I can’t really predict any of that. Just have to let it happen and see how it goes.” 

Tagovailoa suffered a high ankle sprain late in the second quarter of last week’s win over Tennessee when he was tackled from behind by Greg Emerson. He sat out the rest of the game and underwent a “tight rope” surgery on his right ankle earlier this week in order to accelerate the healing process.

While the prognosis on Tagovailoa has been generally positive, Saban refrained from saying his star quarterback would for sure be ready to go in a couple of weeks against the Tigers. 

“I’ve got no crystal ball,” Saban said. “I don’t know how he’s going to do in Wednesday’s practice. I don’t know how he’ll do after that. Is it fair to say I don’t know? Nobody knows.”

“We’re not going to put him a situation where he can’t perform, aight?” Saban continued. “If he can perform, he’ll be able to play. If he can’t perform, then he won’t be able to play.”  Saban added that he didn’t have a cutoff date in mind as to when he would make a decision about Tagovailoa’s availability for LSU. 

The 2018 SEC Offensive Player of the Year and Heisman Trophy finalist was having one of the best season’s in college football prior to his injury. He was 145-of-194 passing (74.7 percent) for 2,166 yards, 27 touchdowns and two interceptions for the undefeated Crimson Tide, and squarely in the mix for the Heisman Trophy. 

Mac Jones started in place of Tagovailoa against the Hogs and completed 18 of his 22 passes for 235 yards, with three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Two of his incompletions were on throw aways, and a third was a drop by a wide receiver. 

Alabama will host LSU on Saturday, Nov. 9, at 3:30 p.m. ET. 

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