Clarett Has Knee Surgery, Questionable For Saturday

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio State freshman tailback Maurice Clarett had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Tuesday morning but still could play Saturday at Cincinnati.

"We'd know by the end of the day Thursday, I would think," Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel said.

Clarett was "nicked up a little bit in the first quarter," against Washington State last Saturday, Tressel said.

Despite the injury, Clarett put together the second-best rushing day by an Ohio State freshman, running for 230 yards and two touchdowns as the sixth-ranked Buckeyes beat the Cougars 25-7.

Tressel called his star running back's injury "a little bit of a meniscus tear."

Clarett had an MRI over the weekend and was on crutches Tuesday afternoon following the surgery. He could return to practice by Thursday, Tressel said.

"The way our physicians explained it to me, we had four or five guys who had it last year," Tressel said. "It could've been an old injury that he might've gotten further banged on."

Clarett was the first true freshman to start at tailback for Ohio State in a season opener. He ran for 175 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-21 victory over Texas Tech on Aug. 24.

Lydell Ross or Maurice Hall would start in Clarett's place.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)