The South Carolina Gamecocks and their fans got a dose of good news on Wednesday when starting quarterback Connor Shaw returned to the practice field.
Shaw, who suffered a deep bone bruise in his throwing shoulder in the season-opening win against Vanderbilt, has not practiced since the game.
During workouts, the junior appeared to be throwing the ball well and did not show obvious signs of pain, according to a report in SI.com. Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier has described his status for Saturday's home opener as "wait and see."
The ninth-ranked Gamecocks defeated Vanderbilt 17-13 in Nashville last Thursday despite Shaw's second-quarter injury. He returned to the game in the second half but was limited in his effectiveness, throwing for only 67 yards but getting 92 yards on the ground.
The East Carolina Pirates come into Columbia on Saturday off a 35-13 win over FCS school Appalachian State.
The Pirates are no strangers to playing the Gamecocks, having taken a 24-14 halftime lead against the Gamecocks last season at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.
But Carolina would ultimately rally, outscoring East Carolina 42-13 in the second half for a 56-37 victory.
If Shaw cannot go on Saturday, the task will fall to sophomore Dylan Thompson. Thompson was less than impressive in limited action against Vanderbilt, completing none of his three passes with two sacks.