LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California guard Jio Fontan will miss the upcoming season after tearing a ligament in his left knee during the Trojans’ exhibition tour in Brazil.

USC confirmed Fontan’s injury on Thursday, two days after he landed awkwardly on the way to the basket during an exhibition against a Brazilian pro team. Fontan will undergo surgery soon.

The 6-foot Fontan was the Trojans’ second-leading scorer and top playmaker as a junior last season, leading USC (19-15) to the NCAA tournament.

He started 24 games despite sitting out the first semester after transferring from Fordham.

Trojans coach Kevin O’Neill says he’s never felt worse for any player in his career, calling Fontan “the heart and soul of our team.”

O’Neill expects touted freshman point guard Alexis Moore to replace Fontan.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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