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In the 2021 regular season finale against the Trojans, Johnny Juzang was sidelined with an ankle injury.

It remains to be seen if Juzang will be in the same spot in 2022.

The star guard for No. 17 UCLA men's basketball (22-6, 14-5 Pac-12) is still dealing with an ankle injury he sustained Feb. 24 against Oregon, an injury that cost him appearances in the following two games. A UCLA spokesperson told All Bruins that Juzang is a game-time decision for the team's regular season finale against crosstown rival No. 16 USC (25-5, 14-5) on Saturday.

Juzang appeared to be a full participant in UCLA's pregame warmups, first coming onto the court for individual ball-handling drills before getting started with jumpers in sweatpants and a t-shirt. Juzang took part in passing and rebounding drills as well.

When the rest of his teammates started practicing shooting off the dribble, Juzang was working with the training staff with elastic bands. Juzang eventually shed his sweatpants and rejoined UCLA for the catch-and-shoot portion of warmups.

Juzang immediately hit the first two 3-pointers he attempted, and he was a full participant from then on out.

Prior to the midpoint of this season, Juzang had been a reliable and largely healthy player, but recent strokes of bad luck on and off the court has changed that streak.

COVID-19 protocols knocked Juzang out of the Bruins' final two games of January, and even though he was asymptomatic and returned to team facilities five days later, he missed one game due to a hip injury he suffered after falling off an electric scooter. Less than a week after getting back from that, Juzang missed two more games with due to his sprained ankle.

Before this recent stretch of bumps and bruises, Juzang had appeared in 23 consecutive games for UCLA dating back to last postseason, when he notably ascended to the status of March Madness hero by averaging 22.6 points per game throughout the NCAA tournament. So far in 2021-2022, Juzang is averaging 17.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.7 steals per game while shooting 44.3% from the field, 36.7% from deep and 86.6% from the free throw line – best in the Pac-12.

Juzang was averaging 19.0 points and 5.2 rebounds on .461/.386/.889 shooting splits in the 11 games leading up to his ankle injury against Oregon.

The Bruins are 17-6 when Juzang plays and 5-0 when he does not, despite him leading the team in scoring.

If Juzang is unable to play against the Trojans, he won't be able to take the court again until the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals begin on March 10.

UCLA and USC are set to tip off at 7:05 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion.

Update, 7:02 p.m.: Juzang is not in the starting lineup, with David Singleton appearing in his place.

However, it is Senior Night and Juzang is in full uniform, so he will likely be available off the bench.

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