Virginia Tech will be without star tight end James Mitchell for the rest of the season, coach Justin Fuente announced Monday, after the junior suffered a knee injury in the 15th-ranked Hokies’ win over Middle Tennessee on Saturday.

Mitchell, a preseason All-ACC selection, injured his right knee on a goal-line running play midway through the second quarter. After the game, Fuente downplayed the injury, saying he thought Mitchell could’ve kept playing, but was held out as a precaution.

On Monday, however, Fuente revealed that a follow-up MRI showed more damage to the knee that will require season-ending surgery.

“We are disappointed for him,” Fuente said. “What a great leader and a great young man he is.”

Mitchell had three catches for 25 yards in Virginia Tech’s first two games, but he’s consistently been one of the team’s most versatile weapons. In 2020, he was third on the team with 435 yards and led the Hokies with four touchdown receptions.

Virginia Tech (2-0) travels to West Virginia on Saturday.

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