AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “I’m going home for the holidays,’ he said. Cushing said nerve damage in his shoulder prevented him from playing this season. “I would have been back two weeks ago if it was just dislocated,’ he said. “It’s really frustrating, I don’t know how to put it.’ Meanwhile, linebacker Dallas Sartz (dislocated shoulder) barely practiced Tuesday and remains questionable for the Notre Dame game. Defensive back Mozique McCurtis, who has practiced for just three weeks this season after being out with a hernia, is not close to playing because he’s too far behind learning the defense. LOS ANGELES — USC linebacker Brian Cushing might be out for the season with a dislocated shoulder, but playing for the top- ranked team in the country means there’s no shortage of attention for the freshman. Cushing received a letter from a stranger recently asking him to spend the holidays and offering assistance of any kind. It wasn’t exactly what Cushing expected during his first year of college, especially since he played in only one game before getting hurt. “It was a little strange. I wasn’t expecting that kind of stuff,’ Cushing said. Cushing, who is from New Jersey, said he didn’t think he would take up the holiday offer. Cornerback Kevin Thomas (mononucleosis) practiced again and will be available against Notre Dame. “I don’t know who our (third cornerback) is but I’m going to get it,’ Thomas said. Freshman cornerback Cary Harris, who has struggled to learn bump-and-run coverage, is improving, USC coach Pete Carroll claimed. “He’s the closest he’s been,’ Carroll said. “He might be able to help us in a couple weeks.’ Defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey (sprained ankle) will play and might even start against the Irish. Tailback Reggie Bush only participated in individual drills Tuesday and watched most of practice to rest his bruised knee. “I’m still a little sore,’ Bush said. I don’t know if anyone saw what happened but it looked terrible. My whole knee got twisted. I’m happy it wasn’t as bad.’ Bush said it was “more than likely’ he got caught from behind on his 65-yard run because of the knee injury. A more intriguing question for Bush is his voice. Every week, he goes through a period when he sounds like he has laryngitis. “I don’t know what the deal is,’ Bush said. “Maybe it’s because of too many interviews.’ Because Notre Dame did not play last weekend, the Irish did not want to give USC a copy of their fifth game against Purdue until the Trojans played Arizona in their fifth game. But that didn’t stop USC from getting a look at the Irish’s fifth game. They got a copy of the game from Purdue. It’s unlikely linebackers Thomas Williams or Oscar Lua will play on the kickoff team even though Carroll is considering them to improve the awful performance last weekend. Williams is too sore from starting at strong-side linebacker to play special teams. “It’s just wear and tear, nothing serious,’ Williams said. “I want to go back to kickoff but it’s natural wear and tear. I’m not as fresh as I was when I was 18, which sounds funny because I’m only 20.’ Quarterback Matt Leinart’s celebrity status brings some unusual questions and answers on Tuesdays, the only day he speaks to the media. Asked what he wants to buy when he turns pro, Leinart said, “I really want a golf cart.’ Defensive end Kyle Moore can’t wait to play against Notre Dame, because the Irish stopped recruiting him during his senior year. “I was all set to take a trip there and then they stopped talking to me,’ Moore said. “Every team that stopped talking to me I can’t wait to play against.’ Other teams on that list include Texas and Louisiana State. Scott Wolf can be reached at (818) 713-3607. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!