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Masoli's injury could be worse than reported

EUGENE — Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli rejoined practice with the No. 13 Oregon Ducks on a limited basis Wednesday after missing two days with a right knee injury.

It appeared that backup quarterback Nate Costa will get the start on Saturday at UCLA. Masoli was scheduled to have his knee re-examined by doctors on Thursday.

Masoli was sacked in the first half of Oregon's 52-6 victory over Washington State last Saturday and left the game shortly thereafter. He was seen icing his knee on the sidelines before returning after halftime wearing his warmups.

Masoli was adamant afterward that his knee was fine, and he jogged to the tunnel at Autzen at game's end. He was also listed atop Oregon's depth chart for the UCLA game.

However, he did not practice Monday or Tuesday, leading some to speculate the injury was more serious. On Wednesday he wore shells rather than full pads.

Coach Chip Kelly would not comment on Masoli's injury. His policy this season concerning injured players is to say they're either out or day-to-day. The Masoli case was no exception.

Masoli's injury brought back bad memories for many Duck fans who saw their team vying for a national championship when Heisman candidate Dennis Dixon went down with a knee injury.

In fact, knee injuries to Oregon's quarterbacks have caused some to speculate whether the spread option offense puts mobile QBs at increased risk.

Masoli was just coming into his own after a slow start. In Oregon's last two games, victories over California and the Cougars, Masoli has completed 35 of 43 passes for four touchdowns and no interceptions. He has also rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown over the span.

Costa, who has missed the past two seasons because of knee injuries, took over after Masoli was knocked out by Washington State.

Earlier this season when Masoli was struggling with his passing game, fans called for Costa, who is more of a traditional quarterback.

"I'm completely confident in Nate. Those guys battled and competed in fall camp and they're both great football players and if they weren't, they wouldn't be here, center Jordan Holmes said.

Also injured for the Ducks this week was cornerback Willie Glasper, who will miss the rest of the season because of a right knee injury that will require surgery.

Glasper was injured Tuesday at practice. He had been starting for cornerback Walter Thurmond III, who is also out for the season because of a knee injury.

He finishes his career at Oregon with 65 tackles, one fumble recovery and one interception.

EXTRA POINTS: The Ducks have won five straight Pac-10 games, the longest streak in the league. ... Masoli ran for 170 yards and a touchdown in the Ducks' 31-24 victory over UCLA last year in Eugene. ... Football players will be among the Oregon athletes collecting nonperishable food items for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Samoa and American Samoa. They'll take items on Monday from noon to 5 p.m. PDT at the Len Casanova Center next to Autzen.