Cook will undergo surgery sometime within the next 7-14 days and will require a 9-12 month rehabilitation period. He will have the surgery at Pittsburgh's UPMC-South Side
hospital. He is
on track to graduate with a degree in communications this spring.
"We are thoroughly heartbroken for Mike," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. "Over the last three years, Mike has contributed significantly to our success both on and off the floor... He has grown into a leader, has become an outstanding example for the younger players in our program and we will continue to count on his leadership throughout the year."
Dixon said Cook flew back to Pittsburgh with a few members of the team and coaching staff Friday morning instead of going home to Philadelphia for the Christmas break. Cook's left knee buckled with a minute elapsed in overtime in Thursday night's 65-64 win over Duke at Madison Square Garden.
Cook, a transfer from East Carolina, was averaging 10.4 points and 2.8 rebounds a game for the Panthers in 24.9 minutes.
Cook played 22 minutes in the win over Duke, scoring two points and grabbing four rebounds. He had started 48 consecutive games.
Gilbert Brown, a 6-6 redshirt freshman from Harrisburg, is
expected to play more with Cook out of the lineup. Brown has
averaged 5.1 points and 2.1 rebounds playing about 17 minutes a
game this season.
Cook "has become an outstanding example for the younger players
in our program and we will continue to count on his leadership
throughout the year," Dixon said.
Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.