COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore did not practice Wednesday because of a bruised hip and coach Steve Spurrier said his junior star might not start Saturday against No. 3 Florida.
Spurrier had said Lattimore was running well earlier in the week, but the injury kept him out of Wednesday’s workout. Lattimore arrived at practice let and watched from the sidelines.
If Lattimore can’t go, Spurrier says backup Kenny Miles and freshman Mike Davis would handle the load at tailback when the ninth-ranked Gamecocks (6-1, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) go against the Gators (6-0, 5-0).
"We’re sort of banged up all of a sudden," Spurrier said.
Spurrier said an injury like Lattimore’s generally takes a week or two to heal. Lattimore had a touchdown, but gained just 35 yards on 13 carries in ninth-ranked South Carolina’s 23-21 loss to the Tigers.
Spurrier has gone back-and-forth on Lattimore’s condition since Sunday. At first, he expected Lattimore to miss a couple of workouts, but said Tuesday that Lattimore had looked OK during Monday’s session and expected him to play at The Swamp on Saturday.
Then came Wednesday’s twist.
Lattimore is sixth among SEC rushers with 584 yards. He’s tied with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel for the SEC lead with 10 rushing TDs.
"It’s not surgery type things," Spurrier said of Lattimore’s condition. "It appears it’s something that’ll be fine in a week or so."
Lattimore tore ligaments in his left knee while blocking against Mississippi State last year, an injury that cost him South Carolina’s final six games in 2011. He had offseason surgery and has looked strong this fall.
Spurrier detailed several other key players dealing with injuries and illnesses.
He said sophomore defensive end standout Jadeveon Clowney had a foot problem that has limited what he can do at practice. Defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles had his arm in a sling because of a shoulder injury and is doubtful to play against the Gators. Defensive linemen Byron Jerideau and J.T. Surratt are also hampered by injuries, although both are expected to play.
And then there’s the flu bug, which Spurrier said has kept some Gamecocks from working out this week. Punt returner and starting receiver Ace Sanders missed practice Tuesday while receiver Bruce Ellington was out on Wednesday.
Spurrier was hopeful all players hit by the flu could play on Saturday.