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Laurel could return Saturday

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    University of Hawaii Warrior football player linebacker Art Laurel was helped off the field after being injured by teammates University of Hawaii Warrior football player linebacker TJ Taimatuia and University of Hawaii Warrior football player linebacker Kamalani Alo in a game played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, CA on Saturday.

Hawaii linebacker Art Laurel has a sprained ACL, although the right-knee injury is not as bad as initially diagnosed.

His availability is regarded as questionable for Saturday’s homecoming game against New Mexico at Aloha Stadium.

If Laurel cannot play, then second-year freshman Kendrick Van Ackeren would start.

Laurel started the first four games at strongside linebacker before moving to the weak side against San Diego State on Saturday.

UH coach Norm Chow said other moves might be in the works after the Warriors fell to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the Mountain West Conference.

"We are going to make some more changes," Chow said. "We have to. We need to find the right combination of people. We need to be better, no question about it."

Tony Grimes, who started the opener against Southern California, is expected to reclaim a cornerback’s job. While Mike Edwards is a shut-down defender, the other corner job has had three starters — Grimes, freshman Ne’Quan Phillips and John Hardy-Tuliau.

Chow said Hardy-Tuliau, who started three games at free safety, was misdiagnosed and did not suffer a concussion against San Diego State. Hardy-Tuliau will return to free safety this week.

With Leroy Lutu Jr. recovering from a sprained shoulder, Charles Clay ascends to No. 1 at strong safety.

Chow said defensive tackle Siasau Matagiese is expected to be cleared to play this week. Matagiese did not make the trip to San Diego because of a concussion. Chow said he was told Matagiese passed a concussion-assessment test on Monday.

There is no timetable for running back Joey Iosefa’s return. He has missed the past three games because of a stress injury to his right foot. Chow said the problem is with a weight-bearing bone.

Chow said he also is opening the competition at tight end and receiver.

Craig Cofer has started all five games as the on-line tight end. Chow said Ryan Hall, Harold Moleni and Clark Evans will be added to the mix.

Hall, a Duke graduate, has played at the F position, a tight end who is used in the role of fullback/H-back.

Moleni, who returned from a two-year church mission this year, played well in training camp this summer.

"We’ve got to give him a chance," Chow said of Moleni."He’s a returning missionary, so he’s more mature (for a freshman). He’s 21 years old."

Chow said he expects Darius Bright, a fifth-year senior, and Chinedu Amadi, a second-year freshman, to have expanded roles this week. Bright came back from a shoulder sprain to play against San Diego State. Amadi is fully recovered from last year’s shoulder surgery.

"We’ll give them chances," Chow said. "We have to do something. No one has their job made. I think that’s what helps a team’s fight. It’s the competitiveness."

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