Penn State sophomore Whitney Bencsko will miss Sunday's quad-meet against No. 12 Michigan, Maryland, and Bridgeport at Rec Hall after injuring her left knee in last Saturday's meet at Ohio State, Penn State coach Steve Shephard said.
"She's definitely out for this weekend," Shephard said Monday.
Shephard said Bencsko saw a doctor Monday and is scheduled to have an MRI today. Her status for the remainder of the season is unknown and Shephard said he hopes to know more by the end of the week.
The injury occurred on the landing of the sophomore's uneven bars routine, which she was competing for only the second time. The routine involves a more difficult dismount, which is where Bencsko landed straight-legged and hyperextended her left knee.
Following the injury, Bencsko was carried into the training room and did not compete in the other three events.
The gymnast was off to a solid start in 2010 before the injury and had improved her all-around score in nearly every meet. Just one week prior to Saturday's injury, Bencsko posted her best all-around score since March 8, 2009. Her best event this season is the vault, where she is third on the team with a 9.814 average.
Bencsko's 9.654 average on the balance beam is also third on Penn State. Aside from senior Brandi Personett, Bencsko was the only other gymnast to compete in all four events in each of the seven meets this season leading up to Saturday. Bencsko was a first-team All-American on the vault and a second-team All-American in the all-around as a freshman.
She was also named second-team All-Big Ten in 2009 and competed in each of the Lions' 13 meets last year.
Shephard said on Sunday he told Bencsko though she may not be competing at the moment, she can still aid the Lions by convincing her teammates they can still accomplish their goals without her in the lineup.
Shephard added though Bencsko's absence is huge, No. 17 Penn State is lucky to have a lot of depth this year. Ten other Lions have competed in at least one of the four events this season. Shephard said the freshmen, in particular, are coming on strong and he will look to them to fill Bencsko's shoes. "It provides an opportunity for those athletes who were in backup roles to come to the forefront and do the job," the coach said Sunday.