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USC football: Defensive lineman Christian Tupou 'likely' out for season because of knee injury

May 5, 2010 | 12:13 pm

Tupou_400 Although USC quarterback Matt Barkley escaped relatively unscathed from last week's spring-ending scrimmage, defensive lineman Christian Tupou was not as fortunate.

Tupou, a senior who started at nose tackle for two seasons, suffered a torn ligament in his left knee and "likely" will sit out the 2010 season while recuperating from surgery, the school announced. Tupou was injured in the second half when he made a cut and his knee buckled without being touched, the school said.

"It's unfortunate that it happened, but I'm OK," Tupou said in a 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."

Juniors DaJohn Harris and Hebron Fangupo are expected to get more of an opportunity in Tupou's absence.

-- Gary Klein

Photo: Christian Tupou pressures Kevin Riley of California in October 2009. Credit: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images.