first_imgThe injury occurred in last Wednesday’s win against USC. Collison had difficulty lifting his left shoulder to help his shot, and did not use his left arm when trying to warm up in hopes of playing at WVU. “If I feel well after practice (Tuesday), I should be fine Thursday,” Collison said. “It felt pretty fine shooting. I can’t really extend my left arm all the way, but for the most part (the coaches) said I shot the ball pretty well. Howland said Collison, who is second on the fifth-ranked Bruins in scoring at 13 points per game, would be held out of contact during Tuesday’s practice. “I’m cautiously optimistic by Thursday game-time he’ll be able to start for us,” Howland said. “Right now, it’s a game- time thing.” Getting Collison back is paramount to the Bruins getting a high seed in next month’s NCAA Tournament. UCLA (21-3, 10-2 Pac-10) remains the favorite for a No. 1 seed in West, but will be tested by playing four of its last six regular-season games on the road. Also, center Lorenzo Mata said his ailing left hip, which caused him to miss the second half at WVU, is improved and will not keep him out against Arizona State. “I’m sure I’ll be playing,” Mata said. “But that’s not my decision. That’s on the big boss (Howland) over there. I feel good.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img LOS ANGELES – UCLA point guard Darren Collison said he did not test his ability to drive to the basket and finish with his left hand, but he and coach Ben Howland were optimistic the sophomore would play Thursday at Arizona State. Collison missed Saturday’s loss at West Virginia with a sprain of the AC joint in his non-shooting left shoulder, but did take nearly 200 shots during a Tuesday morning workout. last_img