SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame nose guard Louis Nix received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his knee as he deals with tendonitis and a slight meniscus tear and will require surgery, but not until after the season, coach Brian Kelly said.
In the meantime, Nix will practice this week and is expected to play in some capacity Saturday at Pitt. The PRP helped mitigate the pain stemming from tendonitis, and Kelly said the injection "will allow him to go back in and play the game the way he can play it."
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Still, Nix isn't likely to see the kind of 70-snap volume he had earlier in the season.
"I think he's committed to giving everything he can," Kelly said. "He's committed to getting himself back here and doing the best he can to help our football team."
With Notre Dame's defensive line taking major depth hits with the balky ankles of Sheldon Day and Kona Schwenke, Nix's mere presence in the middle could go a long way on Saturday. He didn't start last year's game against Pitt after battling through an illness that week, and Panthers running back Ray Graham rushed for 170 yards on a normally stout Irish defense.
"He's a really good player, he's a good nose," Panthers offensive lineman Matt Rotherham said in a phone interview. "Plays under center, plays both A-gaps really well, stops the run. I think being able to neutralize him is huge for our run game."
That's something that goes without saying -- even if Nix isn't completely healthy on Saturday.