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PSU DE Massaro to miss 2011 season, but mother says he remains upbeat

March 28, 2011 - Cory Giger
Penn State starting defensive end Pete Massaro will miss the 2011 season with a left knee injury, although his mother said he is handling the difficult news remarkably well.

"He's incredible," Lisa Massaro said by phone Monday night. "I admire his stability and the fact that he is able to handle this. He's a support to me."

Massaro, a redshirt junior who started the final 11 games last season, tore the ACL in his left knee during practice Friday.

"His cleat got kind of stuck in the turf there or something, and he felt some pain and snap," Massaro's mother said. "That's all I know." This is the second major knee injury Massaro has suffered. He missed the 2009 season after tearing the ACL in his right knee during the Blue-White Game.

"Being through this before ... it doesn't look good," his mother said of any hope of playing this season. "The surgery demands a nine-month recuperation period.

"He's prepared for the challenge and keeping a positive outlook on things. Physically he's not feeling any pain at this point. ... He'll have the surgery, and I guess that's when the pain will set in."

The 6-foot-4, 264-pound Massaro had 37 tackles (20 solo) and eight tackles for loss last season. He also forced one fumble and recovered another.

Massaro, a finance major, is on pace to graduate in December. He was a first-team Academic All-American and carried a 3.82 GPA into the spring semester.

His mother confirmed he will return for the 2012 season if healthy.

"Oh yes. Definitely," she said.

"He's keeping a real positive outlook on things. He's doing really well with his academics. He's pursuing academically every option that he has. And he's not letting it get him down. He knows what's ahead of him, and it seems like he's taking it straightforward."

Lisa Massaro also wanted to thank everyone for all the support her son and family have received.

"I just want to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation for everybody's thoughts, prayers, compassion, concern," she said. "The injury is overwhelming, but the amount of concern and compassion from other people has been equally so and appreciated."

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