Penn State will have to revive its defensive line play without Pete Massaro this fall.
The team confirmed Monday afternoon that Massaro, a junior defensive end, will miss the 2011 season after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee during Friday's practice. Massaro, who started the final 11 games as defensive end last fall, will have surgery in the next two to three weeks and then begin a nine-month rehab program, team doctor Wayne Sebastianelli said.
Massaro's departure especially stings because Penn State needs options at defensive end, a position that underperformed in 2010. Jack Crawford was banged up for much of the year and is working his way back to 100 percent. Penn State will turn to Crawford, Eric Latimore, Jordan Hill and others to spark the pass rush this fall.
This is a tough setback for Massaro, who missed the 2009 season after tearing his right ACL in Penn State's spring game. He recorded 37 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery last season.
The injury bug seems to be hitting Penn State hard this spring, as receiver Curtis Drake broke his left leg for the second time in seven months.
By Adam Rittenberg
Penn State defensive end Pete Massaro will miss the 2011 season after tearing the ACL in his left knee in Friday’s practice.
Massaro started the final 11 games for the Lions last season and was in line to retain the job before the injury. He will undergo surgery in the next 2-3 weeks and undergo approximately nine months of rehabilitation, according to team doctor Wayne Sebastianelli.
The redshirt junior missed the entire 2009 season after tearing the ACL in his right knee during Penn State’s spring game. He returned last fall and recorded 37 tackles, 3.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Massaro redshirted in 2008.
Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org