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Rice’s leading rusher ‘close’ to returning

After not having him for most of the past two games, Rice could see a significant piece of its offensive puzzle return this weekend.

Head coach David Bailiff said that running back Charles Ross, who did not practice yesterday, will travel with the team for the Owls’ Conference USA game against Tulsa. Ross suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee early in the second quarter of the Week 4 game against Houston and did not return. He was also sidelined for all of the Sept. 28 win over FAU.

While a return is far from etched in stone, Bailiff sounded somewhat optimistic about Ross’ availability.

He’s close,” said Bailiff according to the Houston Chronicle. “He’s a lot better than he was yesterday. You just can’t rush it.”

Despite missing essentially the last seven quarters, Ross, leads the Owls with 319 yards -- averaging 5.8 yards per carry -- and has scored four of their six touchdowns on the ground.