USC Gamecocks Football

Garcia dinged up vs. Tigers

Stephen Garcia had a “very sore” right hand and his left arm in a sling due to a shoulder injury Sunday, but South Carolina’s junior quarterback is expected to start Saturday when the Gamecocks play for the SEC championship.

“His right hand is very sore and his left shoulder got popped a little bit there one hit,” head coach Steve Spurrier said Sunday. “He probably won’t (practice) too much early this week, but hopefully by midweek he should be pretty close to full go. He’s a little banged up right now, but he should be good to go we think.”

South Carolina (9-3) plays No. 2 Auburn (12-0) Saturday at 4 p.m. in the SEC championship game in the Georgia Dome.

Garcia was injured in the Gamecocks’ 29-7 win over Clemson in Death Valley. He hurt his throwing hand when he hit it on a helmet while following through on a pass in the first half. He hurt his shoulder later in the game when he was thrown to the ground and landed on his non-throwing shoulder.

Garcia is expected to be back at practice by Wednesday, Spurrier said.

He had his left arm in a sling Sunday, a source told The State. Another source said the quarterback had an MRI on the shoulder but stressed it was precautionary.

Garcia and Spurrier discussed his thumb injury after the game, but neither made mention of the shoulder injury.

Garcia is fifth in the SEC in passer rating and yards per game (220.5).

SEC title game teleconference: Steve Spurrier