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Connor Shaw might not start vs. Kentucky, but healthy enough to play

Shaw continues to build upon his reputation as one of the toughest quarterbacks in college football.

Streeter Lecka

South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw left the Gamecocks' 28-25 win over Central Florida with a right shoulder sprain, and at the time, head coach Steve Spurrier said his signal caller could be out for a few weeks. But three days later, Shaw has apparently experienced a quick recovery and will likely be available this Saturday against Kentucky.

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If he does play against the Wildcats, it won't be the first time in Shaw's career that he's taken the field hurt. He suffered a contusion on the same shoulder during South Carolina's 2012 season opener against Vanderbilt, but he managed to return during that game, a 17-13 Gamecocks victory. Shaw missed the second game of last season, and he re-injured the shoulder in Carolina's third game against UAB. He left the matchup against the Blazers, but he returned the following week against Missouri and completed 20-of-21 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns.

Spurrier told reporters Tuesday that he isn't sure who will start this week, but he expects Shaw to be available.

"(Shaw) is a tough guy, obviously a very tough guy," said Spurrier. "He obviously had a lot of pain with the hit the other day because, when he came off the field, it looked like he was out for the season, maybe. But now, he is good shape.

"Connor is a tough kid who should be able to play this week. He has played very well for us. His record speaks for itself - percentage wise the winningest quarterback. You've got to say he really played well."

Against the Knights, Shaw threw only two passes, completing one for 4 yards. On the year, he's completed 64.5 percent of his throws for 665 yards and six touchdowns. Backup Dylan Thompson was 15-of-32 for 261 yards and one interception against UCF, and he's 23-of-42 for 365 yards, one score and two picks in 2013.

South Carolina and Kentucky kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday from Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. The game will air on FSN.

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