With sophomore defensive tackle Mika Kane out for the Sept. 2 opener at Tennessee with a broken finger, Malele will return to his starting spot alongside All-America candidate Brandon Mebane.
"He looks OK in practice," Cal defensive coordinator Bob Gregory said of Malele, who had 17 tackles last season. "We've tried to limit his repetitions a little. I don't know that he is 100 percent, but he is improving every day."
Cal coach Jeff Tedford is concerned about his team's depth along the defensive line. "It's important for (Malele) to be there for us," Tedford said.