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USC's Jio Fontan will miss season because of knee injury

August 18, 2011 |  4:10 pm


In what should be considered a severely damaging blow to an already inexperienced team, USC senior guard Jio Fontan will miss the 2011-12 season with a torn left ACL, Trojans Coach Kevin O'Neill said by phone from Brazil on Thursday.

"It's a huge blow for our team," O'Neill said.

The tear was suffered during an exhibition game in Sau Paulo on Tuesday and Fontan was flown back to Los Angeles on Wednesday. An MRI revealed the tear Thursday.

It's a beyond-devastating blow for USC's hopes this season as Fontan was the Trojans' leading returning scorer (10.5 points per game) and one of their two returning starters.

Fontan had averaged 28.5 points per game in two exhibition games against Brazilian pro teams before his injury that forced him to leave Tuesday's game.

Fontan will probably have surgery in the next couple days, O'Neill said.


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-- Baxter Holmes

Photo: USC guard Jio Fontan is fouled as he dribbles past Cal defender Brandon Smith in the second half of a quarterfinal game last season. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times.