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Grant Hill Undergoes Ankle Surgery

December 19, 2001

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BALTIMORE (AP) _ All-Star Grant Hill underwent yet another operation on his left ankle Wednesday, hoping the removal of bone spurs will allow him to return next season.

The Orlando Magic forward, who had undergone surgery on the ankle twice before, will be in a cast for about a month before being re-evaluated.

Extensive bone spurs were removed from the front of his left ankle during the one-hour operation at Union Memorial Hospital and a separate ``defect″ was repaired, Dr. Mark Myerson said.

``There were no surprises in what we found,″ he said. ``The surgery went very, very well, and from a technical perspective exceeded my expectations.

``The long-term prognosis has to still be guarded. We’ll be in a better position ... once we have evidence of bone-healing in one month.″

Magic team physician Dr. Joe Billings said before the surgery that Hill could resume physical activity by next summer.

The 29-year-old Hill, a six-time All-Star, played only 14 games this year and just four the previous season before undergoing surgery on the ankle.

Hill first injured the ankle late in the 1999-00 season while with the Detroit Pistons.

Despite offseason surgery, the Magic thought he was a worthwhile gamble and signed him to the maximum possible free-agent deal, seven years for $93 million.

The Magic hoped Hill and Tracy McGrady could return them to prominence. McGrady, however, has also been troubled by injuries this season and the team has gotten off to a disappointing start.

Since arriving in Orlando, Hill has missed 90 of the team’s 118 regular-season games. This season, he averaged 16.8 points, 4.6 assists _ both career lows _ and 8.9 rebounds.

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