USC defensive end Devon Kennard underwent successful surgery on his torn pectoralis major muscle on Monday, he told ESPNLosAngeles.com.
He said he expects to have the opportunity to return late in the 2012 season if he desires. Team doctors told him he can expect to wait a little less than three months to start lifting again and roughly four months to be back to normal. He's off pain medication and can resume cardio work shortly, he said.
The four-month timetable from his July 30 surgery date would mean Kennard would miss the entire regular season, which ends Nov. 24. He could conceivably return for the Pac-12 championship game on Nov. 30, if the Trojans play in it, and any bowl game they play later.
If he takes part in either of those two games (or any game after Oct. 13, for that matter), his collegiate eligibility will be exhausted and he'll be forced to pursue the NFL. Therefore, he could also choose to sit out the season entirely and use his redshirt year to return as a fifth-year player in 2013.
A medical redshirt won't come into play in Kennard's situation because of a mid-season deadline to qualify for its use.
"I have plenty of options," Kennard said Tuesday. "I just have to figure out what's best when the time comes."
Whether or not Kennard plays a down in 2012, his scholarship still counts on the books, like all injured players who have not applied for a medical retirement. So his inactivity would not open up a potential slot for Penn State running back Silas Redd.