Utah forward Hanno Mottola, a preseason nominee for the Wooden and Naismith awards, will miss the first six weeks of the season with a torn knee ligament.
Mottola, a 6-foot-10 senior from Helsinki, Finland, was hurt when he took a charge during Utah's 70-68 exhibition loss to the California West All-Stars on Tuesday night.
Team physician Dr. Patrick Greiss initially diagnosed the injury as a sprain of the medial collateral ligament in Mottola's left knee. After reviewing an MRI, Greiss detected a tear on Thursday.
Mottola started all 67 of Utah's games over the past two seasons. He was a first-team all-Western Athletic Conference selection last season, averaging 15.3 points and 5.4 rebounds a game.
Mottola might return for a Dec. 28 home game against Oregon State. The Utes open the regular season on Tuesday night, playing host to Arkansas State in the Preseason NIT.
©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed