LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California outside linebacker Porter Gustin underwent surgery to repair a broken ankle Tuesday.
He is looking at a four-month recovery after having a metal plate and screw inserted in his right ankle, Trojans coach Clay Helton said Tuesday night, a timetable that would likely allow the talented pass rusher to participate in workouts ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Gustin sustained the injury that ended his senior season late in the fourth quarter of USC’s 31-20 win over Colorado on Saturday night. He had 21 sacks and 33 tackles for loss during his college career, with seven sacks and 10 tackles for loss this season to lead USC in both categories, and projects as one of the top edge defenders available for NFL teams to draft next year.
Helton said it would be impossible for USC to replace Gustin’s contributions to the team on and off the field.
“There’s only one Porter,” Helton said. “I’ve been doing it 24 years and I can count on one hand guys you’ll always remember, and that guy, he’s the definition of what a Trojan is.”
This is the second straight season in which Gustin sustained a season-ending injury. He was limited to four games in 2017 because of toe and biceps injuries, missing the Pac-12 title game and Cotton Bowl.
USC (4-2) plays at Utah (4-2) on Saturday night.