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Saban: ‘Tua doing really, really well’ — ‘Expect him to return to practice within a week’

The University of Alabama Crimson Tide beat Arkansas 48-7 on Saturday evening in Bryant-Denny Stadium without star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

The Heisman contender had tight-rope surgery for a high right ankle sprain last Sunday.

Speaking postgame, head coach Nick Saban explained that Tagovailoa’s status for the already much-hyped November 9 matchup against LSU will not be known until closer to that game. Alabama and LSU both have bye-weeks this coming weekend.

However, Saban did sound pleased with Tagovailoa’s recovery at this stage.

“Tua is doing really, really well,” Saban told reporters. “He’s on the AlterG (anti-gravity treadmill) already.”

“We expect him to return to practice within a week,” he continued. “I don’t know what all he will be able to do or how much, but that’s the prognosis for where we are now.”

Saban called the result a “good team win,” while also throwing praise to quarterback Mac Jones, who led the offense in Tagovailoa’s absence.

Jones completed 18 of 22 pass attempts for 235 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions.

“Mac did a really good job with executing the offense,” Saban remarked. “He was very efficient and effective in the passing game. Did a nice job on third down and kept a lot of drives going.”

One of Saban’s classic phrases came up as well.

“This is a game that if we would’ve taken any rat poison, we wouldn’t have been focused on this game at all, based on everyone else and the community and the media,” he noted.

“The fans and the questions I get asked on the media show, you know Nick at Noon,” Saban outlined. “I get asked about the next game. And we had this game. We were pleased with the way our players stayed focused on what they had to do in this game, so we could flow as a team.”

He stated, “I’m sure there are things that we will see in film that we can do better, but I think our guys competed hard in the game. They played hard in the game and took care of business the way that we wanted them to.”

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On injuries picked up during the Arkansas game, Saban outlined, “Najee (Harris) just barely twisted his ankle, he’s fine. Could’ve went back and played in the game, we just didn’t put him back in. Smitty (DeVonta Smith) has a bruised shoulder. He will probably be out for a few days but should be fine. Shyheim Carter went out with a little knee sprain. He’ll be fine. I don’t think we have anyone that is significantly hurt.”

“(Ale) Kaho has a fractured hand, which will be fixed and be able to play with in a cast,” he added.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn