Tupou lost for season with knee injury

USC defensive tackle Christian Tupou will miss the 2010 season after tearing a ligament in his left knee during last Saturday's spring game at the Coliseum, the school said in a statement.

Tupou is the Trojans' most experienced defensive lineman and has started at nose tackle the past two years. Tupou will redshirt in 2010 and, after undergoing surgery, return next season as a redshirt senior.

The injury happened in the third quarter of the scrimmage when Tupou cut awkwardly and his knee buckled. He was not hit on the play.

"It's unfortunate that it happened, but I'm OK," Tupou in the statement. "I'll deal with it. It's part of the game. I'm down, but I'm not out because I can come back in 2011. Through training and rehab, I see a brighter light at the end of the road."

Tupou said he will begin his graduate studies in the fall. He was an All-Pac-10 honorable selection in 2009 as a junior when he was named USC's co-defensive lineman of the year. He has 37 career tackles, including 25 last year (four for loss).