Star defensive end Chris Canty's season and career with the Virginia Cavaliers are over after an MRI exam showed significant damage to the knee he injured in Saturday's 31-10 win against Syracuse.

Canty, an all-American hopeful who was competing as a fifth-year senior, will undergo surgery within a week and should be back on the field next summer for NFL training camp. The 12th-ranked Cavaliers, though, will have to press on without him.

"He leaves behind a great legacy as a terrific Cavalier player," Coach Al Groh said last night on his radio show. "He's been one of the most passionate and intense players, both about the game and about his feelings about the team and his teammates, so those things are very difficult to replace."

Canty, who redshirted as a freshman in 2000, was taking graduate classes in Virginia's Curry School of Education after earning his undergraduate degree in African American studies in May. Exceptionally athletic for a 6-foot-7, 290-pound man, he led ACC defensive linemen with 104 tackles last season -- two shy of the Virginia record for a lineman -- and had 30 in four games this year, including seven behind the line of scrimmage.

Kwakou Robinson, a 327-pound junior who had been the primary backup at both defensive end spots, likely will start when the Cavaliers (4-0) host Clemson on Oct. 7. Redshirt freshman Chris Johnson moves up from the third spot, with Allen Billyk and Chris Long in the mix.

-- Jim Reedy