Baca fractures ankle, out for…how long?

UCLA junior offensive lineman Jeff Baca had surgery on Thursday night to repair a fractured left ankle and is out indefinitely, the school announced on Friday.

Baca was injured during the Bruins’ second spring practice during a team drill after a teammate fell on his leg. The school release added that his status for fall camp is in doubt, as well.

Baca was expected to anchor a veteran offensive line after returning from a season on the sidelines, as he was deemed academically ineligible and missed the 2010 campaign. Baca was slated to go as the team’s starting weak side tackle, but now redshirt sophomore Stanley Hasiak and redshirt junior Connor Bradford will get the reps.

Last season, the UCLA offensive line was one of the few bright spots for a 4-8 team, paving the way for the Bruin running game to rank 32nd in the country in rushing offense at 175.58 yards per game, despite the losses of Baca and center Kai Maiava. Maiava is back at center after missing the 2010 season after fracturing his ankle in fall camp.

Baca has started 21 games for UCLA, and he and Maiava are considered the nucleus of a deep offensive line that also includes senior tackle Mike Harris, sophomore guard Chris Ward and senior Sean Sheller.