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October 29, 2012Pitt linebacker Dan Mason will be out indefinitely after suffering a lacerated liver in the Panthers' win over Temple on Saturday, Panther-Lair.com has learned.
Mason appeared to suffer the injury while making a fourth-down tackle on Temple quarterback Clinton Granger during the fourth quarter of Saturday's game. Mason lunged to tackle Granger two yards short of the end zone.
Pitt head coach Paul Chryst said on the Big East coaches conference call Monday morning that Mason will be out for the season.
"We're really kind of still waiting to see. After the game, our training staff and doctors did a great job because they weren't quite sure. They took him in just to make sure. It's an internal (injury). Noting to do with his old injury.
"The news is good, and it's one of those were still waiting each day - or each half of a day - to make sure each thing is right. I saw him yesterday. He's feeling good in good spirits.
"Obviously, he's down because I think this will keep him out for the rest of the year, but big picture, he's doing well right now."
Saturday was Mason's second start this season, and it continued his inspirational comeback story. The redshirt junior from Penn Hills suffered a severe knee injury in September of 2010 and did not get back into a game until Pitt played Gardner-Webb on September 22 this year.
Mason made his first start in more than two years at Buffalo on October 20 and tied a career high with 11 tackles. He followed that with a 10-tackle performance against Temple at Heinz Field on Saturday, and with just five games and two starts, Mason is seventh in tackles for Pitt this season.
Mason's opportunities to start came after redshirt junior Shane Gordon was sidelined due to injury after the Louisville game. Gordon has missed the last two games after starting the first six; he is listed at first-team middle linebacker on the official depth chart Pitt released Monday. Redshirt senior Joe Trebitz is listed as the backup middle linebacker.
Chryst said he believes Mason should be back for spring practice, but that the main concern is making sure he's alright.