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USC WR Lee (Knee) Expects To Play

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Marqise Lee (knee) expects to play Saturday against Notre Dame, which would improve the chances for underdog USC. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images.
Marqise Lee (knee) expects to play Saturday against Notre Dame, which would improve the chances for underdog USC. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images.

After leading USC to a win in his first game as interim coach, Ed Orgeron gets a toy back from the repair shop in receiver Marqise Lee.

At least according to Lee. The All-American receiver practiced Tuesday for the first time since injuring his knee at Arizona State on Sept. 28 and expects to play against Notre Dame this weekend.

"I'm coming around pretty good," Lee told reporters after practice. "By Saturday, I think I'll be 100 percent."

Orgeron was more cautious in his remarks, though he admitted Lee had progressed more than expected.

The junior caught a school-record 118 passes for 14 touchdowns last season, but struggled with drops, double teams and lesser quarterback play before the injury. His 2013 totals are 30 catches, 385 yards and one touchdown in five games.

In Lee's absence, sophomore Nelson Agholor caught seven passes for 161 yards in a 38-31 win against Arizona.

The Fighting Irish pass defense did allow Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly to throw for 362 yards on Oct. 5, but it took 47 attempts.

Saturday's kickoff at Notre Dame Stadium is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. The Trojans likely need a big performance by Lee to pull an upset and sustain momentum in the post-Lane Kiffin era.