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September 1, 2010TUSCALOOSA _ According to Coach Nick Saban, University of Alabama running back Mark Ingram's recovery from Tuesday morning's arthroscopic surgery is off to a good start, with little swelling.
"Mark is doing extremely well," Saban said Wednesday evening. "He didn't have a lot of swelling, which is a good sign. That has a lot to do with how soon he can come back."
Ingram has been ruled out for Saturday's game against San Jose State and then will be judged on a week-by-week basis.
Although he sustained the injury to his left knee near the end of Monday's practice, Ingram attended team meetings just hours after having the procedure.
"Mark had a great camp because of his character," Saban said. "He's done a great job of setting a great job for a lot of younger players in terms of his work ethic, his character, how he manages his situation and continues to strive to try and be better. It's unfortunate because he had a great camp and was actually playing better than he ever did last year. I'm sure he'll be back to that very quickly when he gets back to the field.
"It's really good when the good players on your team, the really good players on you team, are good guys. That always helps in coaching the team."
Still waiting word on Dareus
Alabama still hasn't heard from the NCAA regarding the status of junior defensive end Marcell Dareus and whether he'll have to serve a suspension regarding his attending a party thrown by an agent.
"If that circumstance does come up, we'll make that decision when we have to make it," Saban said. "I'm very hopeful that we'll have a decision by then."
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said during the SEC coaches' conference call with reporters he also hadn't heard anything from the NCAA either regarding one his players involved in the same investigation. North Carolina suspended Marvin Austin indefinitely Wednesday, although Butch Davis said it was for reasons other than the NCAA review.
Sophomore Undra Billingsley and redshirt freshman Darrington Sentimore are listed behind Dareus on the depth chart.
Ingram and reserve safety Wesley Neighbors are the only players who have been ruled out, both due to knee injuries.
"He'll probably be back soon, too," Saban said about Neighbors.
No one wore black during practice, signaling no contact.
Safety Robert Lester told reporters that he only needed a day to get over the concussion sustained during the first scrimmage. "I was able to go out the next practice," he said.
One player coaches will be keeping an eye on Saturday is junior cornerback DeQuan Menzie, who is coming off an Achilles tear.
"Sometimes he gets a little fatigued, most of the time near the end of practice, because he was not able to condition himself like everyone else in preparation for the season," Saban said. "It's going to be a ongoing process for him to be a little bit better every day, and a little better conditioning every day."
Nike's Pro Combat uniforms were unveiled Wednesday morning, which Alabama will wear against Mississippi State game. Billed as the "ultimate in lightweight protection," Marty Lyons served as the Crimson Tide's featured presenter for the announcement in New York. The most noticeable changes are a slight houndstooth affect on the numbers, an American flag on the right sleeve and a letter "A" on the side of the pants. The uniforms for Alabama and eight other schools can be seen at http://www.nike.com.
Redshirt freshman Anthony Steen was getting a look at right guard during Wednesday's viewing period, with junior John Michael Boswell behind him at that position and true freshman Arie Kouandijo was with the second unit at right tackle.
Although he might get into Saturday's game, true freshman running back Corey Grant continued to work on the scout team.
Alabama practiced inside the Hank Crisp Facility even though it was 91 degrees and sunny out. Saban it was like a normal Thursday practice (instead of Wednesday), but he was giving players a bit of a break before Saturday's game. "We need to rest," he said. The Tide will practice Thursday and hold its usual walk-though Friday. All practices are closed to the public.