Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa returns to practice after high ankle sprain

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was present for the Crimson Tide's first bowl practice on Friday afternoon, less than two weeks after he had surgery to help repair a high ankle sprain.

Tagovailoa, who suffered the injury during the SEC championship game, did not take part in one footwork drill with the rest of the team's quarterbacks, but he was able to participate in the other drills during the media viewing period of practice.

The sophomore used a walking boot and medical scooter during the Heisman Trophy ceremonies in New York last weekend. Jeff Allen, Alabama's lead trainer, traveled with Tagovailoa to aid in his recovery.

Tagovailoa, who has thrown for 37 touchdowns and four interceptions, finished second in the Heisman race to Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. The two will go head-to-head when the Sooners and the Tide face off in the CFP semifinal game at the Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 29 in Miami.

Tagovailoa had one of his worst performances of the season during the SEC title game against Georgia on Dec. 1, throwing just one touchdown and two interceptions before the injury forced him to leave.

Backup quarterback Jalen Hurts, who started the previous two seasons at Alabama, entered the game and led the come-from-behind victory, throwing the game-tying touchdown and running in the go-ahead score.

Hurts had the same type of surgery to repair a high ankle sprain earlier in the season and was sidelined for three weeks before he played again.