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Fisher says Ponder to rest throwing arm this week

Photo by Daniel Kay

Photo by Daniel Kay

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder has a sore throwing arm and will take it easy at practice this week.

Ponder wore a sleeve Monday to protect a bruised right tricep muscle he suffered in the Seminoles Sept. 11 loss at Oklahoma. The injury stiffened up on him during Saturday's 34-10 win over BYU.

"We'll just cut his throws down and he'll be fine," coach Jimbo Fisher said.

"It's a little tight," conceded Ponder, who is getting daily treatment in the trainer's room as well. "I'll try and do as much as I can" in practice.

Ponder emphasized that he's fully recovered from a season-ending shoulder injury suffered against Clemson last November and the ensuing operation performed by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.

"My shoulder feels fine, my shoulder doesn't both me at all," Ponder said.

Florida State has been reluctant to discuss the status of its injured players, possibly indicating Ponder's arm soreness could be troublesome for them, at least in the short haul.

Starting left tackle Andrew Datko did not play in Saturday's win over BYU because of a nagging shoulder injury, although there had been no announcement about his playing status. His replacement, Henry Orelus, was told Thursday that he would start in Datko's spot.

Florida State (2-1) opens its Atlantic Coast Conference season at home Saturday against Wake Forest (2-1), which has won in its last two visits here.

"It would be big for us to start on the right foot," Ponder said.

Fisher wants his 22-year-old senior star as healthy as possible, although sophomore EJ Manuel led the Seminoles to a 41-28 victory over the Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem, N.C., last November the week after Ponder was injured trying to make a tackle after being intercepted.

Ponder, who was being promoted by the school over the summer as a Heisman Trophy candidate, is off to a slow start this season. He ranks ninth in the ACC in passing and eighth in total offense.

Ponder's 509 yards in total offense is just seven yards more than what Michigan's Denard Robinson piled up in the Wolverines' victory at Notre Dame earlier this month.

After three games, Ponder has thrown for 429 yards with his longest completion going for 34 yards. A year ago he had 813 yards passing after three games.

Ponder's 2010 numbers, however, could improve Saturday against a Wake Forest defense ranked dead last in the ACC, giving up 294 yards passing and 43 points a game.