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November 7, 2005After leaving the field with a foot injury midway through Louisville's 42-20 win over Pittsburgh Thursday night, Louisville runningback Michael Bush has been the topic of much speculation around the cify of Louisville the last three days. In Monday afternoon's press conference, Louisville Coach Bobby Petrino says the 6-3, 250-pound star will still be listed as a day-to-day decision heading into the Cards game versus Rutgers Friday night at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
"Michael has been working hard at it all weekend, but he has a sprain on the top of his foot," Petrino told reporters Monday afternoon. "He will not practice today and hopefully we'll know more tomorrow. I think right now it would be a day-to-day deal."
Petrino said Bush has been walking around the Football Complex without the aid of crutches and has been working with the training room staff to increase mobility. Bush was spotted wearing a boot to and from classes on campus, but Petrino said that is a precautionary measure to make sure he doesn't re-injure the foot on his way to classes.
Petrino was asked about Bush's status several different ways by reporters during Monday's press conference. When asked what are the chances Bush won't play Friday night, Petrino responded quickly.
"I don't know that yet," the Cardinal Coach said. "He's a day-to-day deal. He worked had it. I asked him today and he said it was much better than it was on Saturday. So, we'll just have to wait and see."
Bush leads the nation in scoring with 21 touchdowns on the season, and has rushed for 928 yards in the Cards' first eight games. Without Bush, Louisville scored a pair of field goals and and Smith scored a touchdown to close out the Pittsburgh game. Smith finished with 58 yards rushing on 15 carries, while Stripling had 47 yards on 10 carries.
"It makes us a lot thinner," Petrino said. "We've got Kolby (Smith) and George (Stripling) and Sergio Spencer. It would make us play a little differently on short-yardage and goal line situations because he's the one we've been counting on for that, although in the second half I thought (Smith and Stripling) did a great job of that."
Petrino said that Bush would need to practice before Friday night's game as much for Bush's comfort level with the foot as the Coach's comfort level with his health. Petrino said he'd make a decision on Bush's status before gameday for sure.
"No, we would have to know before a game time decision," Petrino said. "We'll see how he is tomorrow, wait until tomorrow and hope that he gets better. He'll work hard at it. He'll get in the Swim-ex today and we'll know more after today to see how well he can go in there because it reduces the weight on it."