Jan. 19, 2005
SportsLine.com wire reports

LOS ANGELES -- Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart will have minor surgery on his left elbow Tuesday.

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The Southern California quarterback had been bothered by soreness in his throwing arm.

"I wanted to get this done now because I have the time to do it," he said Wednesday. "I'll have time to properly rehab it and I'll do all that is necessary to get better."

Leinart said the tendinitis never affected his performance as he led USC to its second straight consecutive championship. Leinart threw five touchdown passes against Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl earlier this month.

"Our doctors recommended I have this minor procedure to clean up the tendinitis," he said. "I want to make it clear that this was not the reason why I decided to return to USC for my senior year."

Leinart said he didn't yet know whether he'll be ready for the start of spring practice March 6.

"He'll be back as good as new real soon," USC coach Pete Carroll said. "We already had planned to give our younger quarterbacks plenty of opportunities in spring ball. So this doesn't really impact our plans."

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