Barkley picks the ball back up

USC freshman quarterback Matt Barkley returned to the practice field last week, throwing passes to his receivers for the first time since minor surgery and readying for spring practices.

Barkley went under the knife at the end of January to fix minor damage to his right throwing wrist sustained during the 2009 season. At the time, Barkley expected to be healed for the start of spring practice, and his return to Howard Jones Field means the Trojan quarterback is right on schedule.

Steve Clarkson, Barkley’s personal quarterback’s coach, told ESPN at the time of the original surgery that Barkley injured his wrist during the Ohio State game – played in September – but continued the rest of the season without treatment.

Barkley finished his debut season with 2,735 yards passing and 15 touchdowns while leading the Trojans to a 9-4 record. USC’s season culminated in a Emerald Bowl victory over Boston College, the Trojans first non-BCS bowl since the end of the 2001 season.

Barkley and the Trojans will start their spring practice schedule March 30, which gives Barkley ample time to work off any rust that he may have acquired during his recovery period.