Dec 14, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers forward Durand Johnson (5) shoots against Youngstown State Penguins forward Josh Chojnacki (14) during the second half at the Petersen Events Center. Pittsburgh won 91-73. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt Panthers Basketball Team Loses Durand Johnson To Severe Knee Injury

Durand Johnson has played a key role in Pitt basketball’s terrific season so far, bringing a healthy dose of scoring off the bench for the 15-1 Panthers, who have also won their first three games as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Unfortunately for Pitt, Johnson’s next time on the court won’t be for several months.

The Panthers announced Sunday afternoon that Johnson, a sophomore guard/forward from the Baltimore area, will miss the rest of the season with two torn knee ligaments. He is scheduled to have reconstructive surgey on the ACL and meniscus in his right knee later this week.

The 6-foot-6 Johnson hurt himself late in Saturday’s home win over Wake Forest, a game in which he scored 11 points in his usual sixth-man role. Largely on the strength of his 22 3-pointers, second-most on the team, Johnson ranks fourth on this year’s Panthers with 8.8 points per game.

Pitt coach Jamie Dixon, who said he was “heartbroken” by the news, will have to dig deeper into his roster to replace the 19.8 minutes per game Johnson was playing. After a redshirt year in 2011-12, Johnson netted just over four points on average last season, but saw his role increase dramatically this winter.

Pitt will seek a 4-0 start in the ACC on Tuesday when it travels to Georgia Tech.

Tags: Durand Johnson Jamie Dixon Pitt Basketball Pitt Panthers

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