Blake DeChristopher out 4-6 weeks

Updated: August 2, 2011, 2:58 PM ET
By Heather Dinich | ESPN.com

Virginia Tech starting offensive tackle Blake DeChristopher has a strained left pectoral muscle and will miss four to six weeks, the school announced Tuesday afternoon.

It's possible he could miss the first two games of the season against Appalachian State and at East Carolina.

Vinston Painter and Michael Via are the lead candidates to replace DeChristopher, according to a school spokesman, but the first depth chart won't be released until Thursday, when the Hokies begin practice.

DeChristopher is entering his fourth season as a starter and has 37 career starts, including 22 in a row. He is one of four starters returning up front for the Hokies, and all four had started every game last year.

DeChristopher graded out at 83 percent last year and had a team-best 59 knockdown blocks.

Heather Dinich is a college football writer for ESPN.com.