Clarett expected to play Saturday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 30, 2002

COLUMBUS -- Freshman running back Maurice Clarett was listed as probable for No. 6 Ohio State's game Saturday against No. 23 Minnesota.

Coach Jim Tressel said on Tuesday that Clarett needs time to recover from nerve damage to his left shoulder.

Clarett was first hurt two weeks ago in the Buckeyes' 19-14 win over Wisconsin. He reinjured the shoulder on his fourth carry in Saturday's 13-7 win over Penn State.

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''Nerves do not heal quickly,'' Tressel said. ''He might line up Saturday and play 55 plays or he might line up and play three plays. Rest is the only thing that eventually solves nerve problems. We don't have a whole bunch of time for rest.''

Clarett rushed for 39 yards on four carries, giving him 1,019 yards for the season. He became only the second Ohio State freshman to pass 1,000 yards in rushing and needs 108 yards to break Robert Smith's school record of 1,126 yards for freshmen.

Tressel said that linebacker Cie Grant should be able to play against Minnesota after missing the Penn State game with an ankle sprain.

Offensive tackle Shane Olivea remains sidelined after having an appendectomy last week, but should begin practicing on Wednesday.

Tressel also said that wide receiver Chris Gamble would likely see significant playing time at cornerback. Gamble became the first two-way starter for Ohio State in 39 years when he started at cornerback and receiver against Penn State, getting on the field for 95 plays.