Power forward Nasir Robinson will miss the next month after injuring his right knee for the second year in a row.
Robinson is scheduled to undergo surgery Friday at UPMC South Side Hospital. He could return for the season opener against Albany on Nov. 11 at Petersen Events Center.
The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Robinson said he felt a “pop” during a workout earlier this week. He missed the first three games last season after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Coach Jamie Dixon said an MRI didn’t appear to reveal a torn meniscus, but Robinson said the discomfort was the same as last year’s injury.
“It’s exactly similar,” he said. “When I did it, I thought it was the same injury.”
In his absence, 6-9 sophomore Talib Zanna will move into the starting role at power forward.
Sophomore Lamar Patterson, a 6-5 wing, and sophomore Aron Nwankwo, a 6-7 walk-on from Baltimore, will also see some time at power forward.
If Robinson can’t return for the opener, it will mark the third consecutive year the Panthers enter a season missing at least one starter.
Jermaine Dixon (foot) and Gilbert Brown (suspension) missed the start of the 2009-10 season, followed by Robinson’s injury last year.