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USC star cornerback sidelined after performing heroic act

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University of Southern California sports officials today said they don’t know when senior football player Josh Shaw will return to the gridiron after the Trojans star suffered dual ankle injuries. Just hours after Shaw was minted a team captain, the athlete injured himself in a heroic effort to save his nephew from drowning in a pool.

According to the Trojans’ web page, Shaw was attending a family function at a cousin’s apartment complex in his hometown of Palmdale on August 23 when he noticed 7-year-old Carter was in the water alone and struggling to stay afloat. The boy could not swim. In an instinctive move, Shaw leapt from a second-floor balcony and landed hard onto the concrete below.

Injured and unable to walk, the popular football player then crawled into the pool, where he was able to pull Carter to safety. The child was not physically injured. Utilizing his powerful upper-body strength, Shaw maneuvered up a ladder and onto dry ground. Shaw was taken to a nearby hospital, where emergency room doctors determined that the celebrated defensive player had suffered two high ankle sprains and should recover fully before suiting up. USC’s football season starts Saturday, August 30, at a home game against Fresno State University.

“I would do it again for whatever kid it was,” Shaw told Jordan Moore, who posts on the team’s web page. “My ankles really hurt, but I am lucky to be surrounded by the best trainers and doctors in the world. I am taking my rehab one day at a time, and I hope to be back on the field as soon as possible.”

Trojans coach Steve Sarkisian praises Shaw's act of heroism.

"That was a heroic act by Josh, putting his personal safety aside," Sarkisian said. "But that's the kind of person he is. It is unfortunate that he'll be sidelined for a while and we will miss his leadership and play, but I know he'll be working hard to get back on the field as soon as possible."

Throughout Shaw’s football career at USC, he is credited with achieving a total of 97 tackles, 13 deflections and 6 interceptions while starting 21 games. He is considered to be the school’s most versatile and reliable defensive back. He had planned to start the 2014 season in the position of cornerback.