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LOS ANGELES -- University of Southern California defensive back Patrick Hall will undergo surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee later this month, he confirmed Thursday.
Hall, a redshirt freshman, suffered the injury on a fluke fall after an interception on the final play of a players-only summer throwing session two weeks ago. He immediately sensed he had torn the ligament but went to a doctor to validate his suspicions, then visited a university doctor Thursday to confirm the results of an earlier MRI and schedule the surgery for June 30.
"I knew it was the ACL because of the swelling," Hall said Thursday. "I was hopeful it was just a tweak but I knew it was the ACL."
He will miss the entire 2011 season.
This is Hall's second ACL tear. He tore the ligament in the opposite knee during fall camp for the Trojans in 2009 before he was officially cleared to compete, meaning he had to complete much of the rehab process on his own at his home in Ventura, Calif. He ended up enrolling at USC in January 2010 and redshirted last season while continuing to rehab.
He said he can walk around without overwhelming pain, but the injury tends to act up at night and prevents him from sleeping at various times.
A highly touted athlete out of St. Bonaventure High, Hall was also suspended indefinitely for a time last season by Trojans coach Lane Kiffin as he struggled to focus on academics. He returned to the practice field after three weeks of what Kiffin termed improved behavior.
Doctors told Hall on Thursday he could be able to resume full-contact practice as soon as March, assuming all goes well with the surgery. He expects to be 100 percent by the start of the 2012 season, he said, and he's hopeful that he'll get a sixth year of eligibility later on in his college career when he formally applies for a medical redshirt season.
"It's a bummer, but I gotta look at it from a positive standpoint -- I got a extra year to come out here and learn the playbook and hope I come back strong," Hall said. "There's no reason I wouldn't be able to get that sixth year, too."Pedro Moura is co-author of the USC blog on ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.