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Pitt running back Conner leaves practice with injured knee

| Friday, April 4, 2014, 5:36 p.m.

Pitt running backs James Conner and Isaac Bennett will miss the final five practices of the spring session because of injuries suffered Friday, the university announced via social media.

Conner, a rising sophomore, sprained his left knee, while Bennett, a senior, sprained his left shoulder, the team posted on Twitter.

The injuries are not expected to prevent them from being ready for offseason conditioning when it begins in May, the team said.

Bennett and Conner combined for 1,596 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns last season.

Conner left the indoor practice facility on a golf cart with his knee wrapped in ice. He had an MRI, which revealed no structural damage.

Not long after Conner was injured, Bennett injured his shoulder. He watched the remainder of practice with his arm in a sling.

The practice was one of the most physical of the spring. The team ran several 11-on-11 drills with officials calling penalties.

“I love the physical part of it,” coach Paul Chryst said. “When you play physical, it means you are confident in what you are doing and where you're going.”But there are limits to that, he said.

“We had a couple guys dinged up. You don't want that by any means.”

Pitt entered spring drills last month with only three running backs. After the injuries, sophomore Rachid Ibrahim moved to the first team and wide receiver Ronald Jones took some snaps at running back.

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