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NHL Rangers' Bure skips game with knee problems



Published: Fri, March 21, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The forward has been limited to just 39 games this season.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Rangers forward Pavel Bure didn't play Monday night because of recurring problems with his oft-injured knees.

The decision that Bure would stay off the ice was made Sunday when the speedy right wing met with coach-general manager Glen Sather. Sather said after the Rangers defeated the New York Islanders 1-0 that he and Bure mutually decided to scratch the right wing from the game.

"He had no swelling in the knee," Sather said. "It's bothering him. It could be psychosomatic -- he's had three operations in that knee this year."

Bure has been limited to just 39 games this season. He has five goals and four assists in 12 games since he returned from a 31-game absence following simultaneous operations on each knee.

In New York's loss at New Jersey on Saturday, Bure saw only 10 minutes, 35 seconds of ice time -- the least he's played since he rejoined the lineup Feb. 17 at Ottawa.

Confirmation

Sather asked Bure during practice on Sunday if his knee hurt. Sather was concerned with Bure's recent play and Bure responded that he was troubled by his knee.

Bure had torn cartilage in his left knee repaired on Dec. 16, 10 days after being injured in a loss at Buffalo. He also had exploratory surgery on his right knee then.

Bure, who has played in six NHL All-Star games, missed the first three games of the season because of illness. He also had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Sept. 26 after injuring it during a preseason game.

The league's leading goal scorer in 2000 and 2001, Bure has 19 goals -- including one on a penalty shot Thursday at Ottawa -- and 30 points this season. He had a team-leading 14 goals at the time of his injury.




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