By Matt Popchock

PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — A famous philosopher once said what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. Two years after his football career was left for dead by some, Pitt junior linebacker Dan Mason believes he can still strengthen the Panthers’ defense.

The Penn Hills product returned to action at Heinz Field Saturday, as part of his team’s 55-10 win over Gardner-Webb, for the first time since blowing out his right knee there against Miami (FL) Sept. 23, 2010.

“It’s been very difficult. Two years, in any situation, is a long time. I’m here. I made it–not own my own strength, because I had help from God–but I’m here. I’m happy to be here,” Mason said after practice on the South Side Tuesday.

Even after he was forced to miss a full season after donning a medical redshirt during that 2010 campaign, Mason said he never seriously considered giving up the game.

“I can do everything I did before I was hurt and more. I’m still trying to win back my starting job,” he added. “All I can do is work, and that’s what I’m doing.”

He talked about the various people who supported him along the comeback trail:

Pitt enjoys an open week before resuming Big East play at Syracuse Fri., Oct. 5 at 7:00.

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