McGahee has knee ligaments repaired

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 6, 2003

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Miami running back Willis McGahee had surgery Sunday on two torn ligaments in his left knee following a crushing hit during a Fiesta Bowl loss to Ohio State.

The All-American sophomore was operated on for four-to-five hours at HealthSouth Doctors Hospital, next to the campus, school spokesman Doug Walker said.

Dr. John Uribe, who performed the surgery, declined to set a timetable for McGahee's return.

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''Willis tolerated the procedure very well,'' Uribe said in a statement. ''If nature does its job and his rehabilitation goes well, he should be able to make a full recovery.''

Doctors found torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments but no tear to the posterior collateral ligament. Assistant coach Don Soldinger said Saturday that McGahee had torn all three ligaments.

McGahee was injured early in the fourth quarter of Friday's game, a 31-24 double-overtime victory by Ohio State for the national championship.

He took a screen pass from Ken Dorsey on third-and-10 from the Ohio State 35 and was hit by Will Allen for a 2-yard loss. McGahee had to be helped from the field. He was in severe pain much of the night, coaches said.

McGahee ran for a school-record 1,686 yards and 27 touchdowns this season and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.