Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 7/27/12

The USC football team can’t afford to lose players to injury, but they’re already down one after defensive end Devon Kennard sustained a pectoral injury that could keep him on the sidelines all season.

ESPN’s Pedro Moura is reporting that Kennard will undergo surgery for a torn pectoral next week. He will be out at least 2-3 months and could miss the entire 2012 season, depending on the severity of the tear. The surgery would be the 21-year-old’s third in the past four years.

If Kennard is unable to return this season, he would likely use a medical redshirt and return for his fifth season in 2013.

A key piece of the defense, the senior was projected to be a starter on the defensive line for the Trojans this year. After playing eight games at linebacker as a sophomore, he switched back to defensive end last year, where he recorded 28 tackles in 11 games.

The D-line already lacked depth, and with Kennard out, competition for his position is projected to be between redshirt junior Kevin Greene and promising freshman Leonard Williams. Redshirt freshman Greg Townsend, Jr. and JUCO transfer Morgan Breslin will also get greater opportunities for playing time.

Neither USC nor Kennard has made an official announcement about the reported injury, although Kennard posted a few cryptic, frustrated tweets to his typically upbeat Twitter page a few hours before the reports circulated:

Devon Kennard’s Twitter feed may hint that the injury reports are true.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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