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Saban: Tagovailoa’s ankle ‘probably ahead of schedule’

December 17, 2018
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) carries the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Citadel, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Tagovailoa was named to the 2018 AP All-America NCAA college football second-team, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama coach Nick Saban says quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is “probably ahead of schedule” in recovering from ankle surgery.

The Heisman Trophy runner-up has been practicing for the top-ranked Crimson Tide, which began preparations Friday for an Orange Bowl semifinal matchup with Oklahoma.

Tagovailoa had surgery on his left ankle shortly after the Dec. 1 Southeastern Conference game during which he sustained a high ankle sprain on the first drive against Georgia. He played much of the way on the injury but had his worst game of the season.

Tagovailoa left in the fourth quarter after his own offensive lineman came down on his right foot.

Saban says Tagovailoa has been able to take a lot of practice repetitions, throw from the pocket and run. He doesn’t think the quarterback has “100 percent change of direction yet.”

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