One of the more concerning issues for South Carolina as it proceeds through fall camp is the availability of leading rusher Kevin Harris, who has missed time while recovering from a back injury.

Harris told reporters on Monday that he is still waiting on full clearance so he can return to practice. He’s not sure about the timing, but is confident he’ll be available for the Gamecocks’ season opener on Sept. 4 against Eastern Illinois.

Harris led the SEC in rushing last season with 1,138 yards, and added 15 touchdowns.

Coach Shane Beamer last week added some background on his status.

“Kevin Harris had a minor procedure on his back over the summer just to clean up stuff that’s been lingering and bothering him,” Beamer said. “He looks great, moves around great. He was in my office today. He’s begging our athletic trainer to let him practice tomorrow. He’s not fully cleared yet to practice, but he’s on track. He said he feels better than he ever has. Excited we were able to get that cleaned up with the minor procedure he had done. I fully expect him to be ready to go Game 1.”

Harris has made a name for himself already in his Gamecock career as he is the school leader in rushing average per carry at 6.4, among those with at least 1,000 career yards. He’s also one of only two Gamecocks, along with Mike Davis, to own two carries of 75 yards or longer.