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Penn State Football: Pete Massaro Feeling More Fresh After Bye Week

by on October 17, 2012 4:05 PM

Few players appreciated the bye week as much as fifth-year senior Pete Massaro. Not because he got to visit his girlfriend in Connecticut or take in the Temple-Connecticut game this past weekend.

Massaro, who has twice rehabbed his way back from a torn ACL and is playing through a subluxation of his right shoulder, saw the benefits of a week off earlier this week once practice resumed in advance of Saturday night’s game at Iowa (8 p.m./Big Ten Network).

“My legs were noticeably fresher,” he said.

Massaro re-joined Larry Johnson’s defensive line rotation two weeks ago against Northwestern after missing the previous three games because of the knee and shoulder issues. A weekly Toradol injection has helped alleviate the pain in his knee. Now with six games left in his career (Massaro has said he likely will not seek a sixth year of eligibility), the defensive end hopes to be able to finish his career out strong.

Through it all, the knee rehabilitation in 2009, 2011 and the shoulder injury sustained Sept. 8 at Virginia, Massaro has kept a level head in a sport that has ravaged his young body.

“Everybody gets injured in this sport,” Massaro said, “whether your time is when you’re 22 years old or you’re 37 years old like Ray Lewis. Everybody gets hurt. It’s just a matter of when it’s gonna happen.”

Mentioned on Wednesday’s conference call with Massaro was former UCLA linebacker Patrick Larimore, who abruptly quit football in August after suffering his second concussion in four months. Larimore was a captain for the Bruins in 2011 and led the team with 81 tackles. Head and brain injuries, of course, are a bit more serious than a subluxation of the shoulder and torn ACL. But one reporter dangled out Larimore’s story when asking whether or not football can be too unforgiving at times, whether or not Massaro had ever asked himself if this plight had been worth it, in hindsight.

“Not for a second,” Massaro said. “That thought never crossed my mind.”

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Nate Mink covers Penn State football and news for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @MinkNate.
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