University Park, Pa. — Penn State defensive end Pete Massaro (Newtown Square) will miss the 2011 season after suffering a serious knee injury in practice.
A 2010 CoSIDA first-team Academic All-American, Massaro tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, according to Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli, Penn State Director of Athletic Medicine. Massaro will have surgery within the next 2-3 weeks and rehabilitation will take approximately nine months, according to Sebastianelli.
A starter in the final 11 games last season, Massaro would have been a redshirt junior this fall. He missed the 2009 campaign after suffering a torn ACL in his right knee during the 2009 Blue-White Game. He took a redshirt season in 2008 as a true freshman.
The 6-4, 264-pound Massaro was fourth on the team with 8.0 tackles for loss (minus-32) last season. He made 37 hits (20 solo) with 3.5 sacks (minus-17), one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He made a career-high five tackles against Illinois and Ohio State and against Temple made three stops, with a sack, and forced and recovered a fumble. The former Marple Newtown High School all-state selection recorded his first career sack, for a loss of nine yards, at No. 1 Alabama.
One of the Big Ten Conference's premier football student-athletes, Massaro brought a 3.82 cumulative grade point average in finance into the spring semester. The Dean's List student also earned Academic All-Big Ten honors last fall.
Coach Joe Paterno's Nittany Lions are in the midst of spring practice, which culminates with Blue-White Weekend presented by AAA, April 15-17. The Blue-White Game is Saturday, April 16 at 2 p.m. in Beaver Stadium. There is no admission or parking fee for the always highly-anticipated contest.
The Nittany Lions return 41 letterwinners and 15 starters for the 2011 season (7 offense, 7 defense, 1 specialist), as well as 17 players that have starting experience. The 17 additional players with starting experience have a combined total of 86 starts (47 def./39 off.) among them.