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Camby Out Indefinitely After Surgery

October 11, 2002

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DENVER (AP) _ Denver Nuggets center Marcus Camby is out indefinitely following hip surgery Thursday, an injury his agent said should have been treated months ago.

Nuggets spokesman Tommy Sheppard said Camby had surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to repair a tear in the cartilage that lines the hip joint.

Camby was acquired in an offseason trade with the New York Knicks after playing only 29 games last season. He was hurt Feb. 1 against Indiana when he landed hard on his side after colliding with Jermaine O’Neal on a layup attempt.

``From everything I’m hearing from the doctors, this is part of the original injury,″ agent Rick Kaplan told The New York Times. ``It’s from the trauma of the fall he had last season. This should have been picked up in February, March or April, then Marcus could have had surgery and been playing right now at 100 percent.″

Kaplan also spoke to the New York Daily News, saying: ``He’s angry. Marcus is extremely frustrated with the Knicks’ doctors. This is something that could have been taken care of over the summer if Marcus knew how bad the injury was.″

Scott Layden, the Knicks’ president and general manager, would not comment on Camby’s condition.

``He passed the physical with the Denver Nuggets’ doctors. I don’t want to talk about a player on another team,″ Layden said.

Denver has been cautious with Camby during practice and sat him out during the second half of its Blue-White scrimmage Tuesday.

Although Camby said he felt fine afterward, team physician Dr. Steve Traina determined Wednesday he needed surgery.

The Nuggets are unsure how long Camby will be out. General manager Kiki Vandeweghe expressed hopes of Camby rejoining the team by December but didn’t have a timetable for his return.

``Things like this are always possible, but I’m a big believer in moving forward,″ Vandeweghe said. ``You get done what you have to get done and make the best of it. The situation could turn out being very positive for us. If we can get a totally healthy Marcus Camby by December, even though he would miss the beginning of the season, I would take that.

Vandeweghe is a former Knicks player.

``I really believe we got accurate information from the Knicks’ doctors. I know those guys,″ he said.

Camby was acquired along with point guard Mark Jackson, now with Utah, and the draft rights to forward-center Nene Hilario from the Knicks on June 26 for forward Antonio McDyess and the draft rights to guard Frank Williams.

During his six-year career, the injury-plagued Camby has never played more than 63 games.

With Camby out, Mark Blount is expected to start at center.

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