Alabama junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Alabama coach Nick Saban said on the College GameDay set Saturday morning that Tua Tagovailoa will play vs. LSU as long as his quarterback feels well and doesn't have a setback in pregame.

"He's practiced really well all week long," Saban said. "He feels good about it."

Saban has kept a consistent message all week about Tagovailoa, saying the call for him to play would be a game-time decision.

"We really and truly don't know," Saban said in an ESPN interview Wednesday, indicating that his long-term health was a significant factor in any decision on his playing status. 

"I’m not going to put Tua in a situation that could be detrimental to him or his future relative to his physical circumstance.”

The 21-year-old hasn't played since he injured his right ankle against Tennessee. He's since had successful "tightrope surgery" intended to help speed up the healing process, the same procedure he had on his opposite ankle after an injury last season.

Multiple sources indicated Tagovailoa was showing positive signs building up to the game. On the College GameDay set in Tuscaloosa, host Kirk Herbstreit reported that the quarterback was "90 percent."

On ESPN Saturday morning, analyst and former SEC quarterback Tim Tebow echoed similar sentiments. 

"He's going to be just fine. I had a chance to be with him (Friday) and he was warming up, throwing and looked really good," Tebow said in a Sportscenter appearance.

Tagovailoa's backup Mac Jones led the Crimson Tide to a victory in relief over Tennessee after Tagovailoa's injury, as well as a 48-7 win over Arkansas in the first start of his college career. 

The sophomore out of Jacksonville, Florida went 18 of 22 for 235 yards and three touchdowns in the game. 

LSU was trending as a 6-point underdog in the days before the game, which is scheduled to kick off at 2:30 p.m. at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa (CBS).

The game marks the first time LSU headed to Alabama ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll since 2011. The Tigers won that game 9-6 before losing the rematch later that year in the BCS National Championship game. 

Email Jeff Nowak at jnowak@theadvocate.com

Twitter: @Jeff_Nowak