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Surgery for Gilmour

Thursday, 04.24.2003 / 12:33 PM ET / News
Toronto Maple Leafs
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Surgery for Gilmour
TORONTO (AP) -- Toronto Maple Leafs center Doug Gilmour will have major knee surgery next month in an attempt to extend his career.

Already sidelined for six weeks, Gilmour will have his left anterior cruciate ligament repaired, surgery that will sideline him another four to six months. It could be the end of his career.

"There are a lot of people who've had this operation," an optimistic Gilmour said Wednesday. "If everything goes well, who knows?"

The Maple Leafs must decide whether to pick up a $3 million option on Gilmour, 39, by July 1. Toronto acquired Gilmour at the trade deadline from Montreal.

"I won't look at the contract situation," he said. "I just want this operation over with. If it's mid-August and I'm skating, we'll talk then. But if it (the contract) is not there, I'll totally understand.

"I can't say I'm going to be bitter. Twenty years in the league is a long time playing this game and I feel pretty blessed. If this is it, it's it. Is it emotional? Yes, but I've been happy to play this game and for the most part stay healthy. It has been a great run."

The former captain's comeback was limited to a few shifts when his ACL and medial collateral ligament were torn in a freak on-ice collision five weeks ago in Calgary. He was considering playing late in the second round had the Maple Leafs beaten Philadelphia in the opening round.

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