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Arizona ‘optimistic’ Scooby Wright can return against UCLA

College GameDay is heading to Tucson and the excitement for the Arizona Wildcats’ Pac-12 opener against the UCLA Bruins is heating up.

But there’s still one big question on the table: Will linebacker Scooby Wright play this weekend?

Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez, who joined the Doug and Wolf show on Arizona Sports 98.7, is hopeful but said that has yet to be determined.

“I don’t know if he’ll be able to play Saturday or not,” Rodriguez said. “It’s been killing him. He hates to miss a play, let alone a game.

“He’s missed the last couple games and he’s itching to get back, so we’ll see how he does if he can practice Tuesday or Wednesday to get ready for Saturday.”

Wright was diagnosed with a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee following the Sept. 3 season opener against UTSA. A return this Saturday would be ahead of schedule for the linebacker, who was originally projected to be back Oct. 10 for the Oregon State game.

“The trainers feel optimistic. I think Scooby is optimistic,” Rodriguez said Monday. “I think everything is healed from that standpoint, but does he have his strength back? Is he able to be the old Scooby? We’ll find out this week.”

The 2014 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and Chuck Bednarik Award winner is considered one of the top defensive players in the country.

Wright’s return could play a big part in addressing some of Rodriguez’s biggest concerns heading into the UCLA game.

“It’s been well chronicled, our injuries at linebacker,” he said. “We’ve been banged up there and we’ve given up a few big plays in every game. We’ve got to get that fixed.”

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