South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is expected to play against Arkansas after missing one game and several practices due to a strained muscle near his ribcage.

Clowney was not available for comment Thursday but defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward was pleased with what he saw from Clowney in two full days of practice this week suggesting that No. 7 will be back on the field for the Gamecocks in Fayetteville against the Razorbacks.

"I think he'll play based on what we've seen the last two days" Ward said after Thursday's practice. "He's gotten better. He's still getting a lot of treatment and he'll continue to get a lot of treatment."

Clowney's status for the game became a national story after a visibly frustrated Steve Spurrier told reporters after the game that Clowney took himself out of last week's win against Kentucky. The coaches figured that he would play despite missing practices and the sudden change of heart led to a week of chatter regarding Clowney's commitment to the Gamecocks.