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Nov. 26, 2003

Returning from Kansas City early this morning with the Guardians Classic Championship trophy and MVP Tarence Kinsey on a charted flight, injured Gamecock guard Josh Gonner also returned with the team after a trip to a local Kansas City hospital.

USC Head Coach Dave Odom also announced today that senior Rolando Howell has a fracture in his foot, sustained in practice on Sunday. USC waited to release the injury until today so Odom could visit with the doctors and Howell in person (Howell remained in Columbia during the Guardians Classic trip).

The team is off today and will practice Thanksgiving night, returning to the court for two practices on Friday. USC hosts Campbell at 8 pm on Saturday, Nov. 29.

Gonner sustained a sprained neck after an on-the-floor collision with teammate Carlos Powell during the win against Richmond Tuesday night. Gonner fell to the ground with a hyper-extended neck after running into Powell’s elbow on the way down the floor.

Gonner is much improved since last night and in much better spirits. While he has some general soreness USC Head Coach Dave Odom is very optimistic that he will improve rapidly. Gonner will not practice on Thursday, but may practice on Friday – but will be determined on Friday. While he has pretty good range of motion, his neck is still very tender and sore. He is listed day to day and is questionable for the Campbell game.

“Josh was very lucky that he was able to come out of a potentially a very dangerous injury with only a strain of the neck region,” said Odom. “We are very relieved and while he might miss a few days, we don’t expect won’t be an extended period of time. But given the nature of the injury all precautions will be taken before he is released.”

Howell sustained a fracture in his fourth metatarsal in his right foot during Sunday’s practice. Howell was put into a walking boot after the fracture was discovered on Sunday. He has been receiving treatment twice a day. The team doctors will reexamine him in 10 days.

“Typically this injury takes 4-6 weeks to heal with no basketball activity or conditioning (running) during this time,” said Odom.