By Tom Keppeler, Knee1 Staff
Philadelphia Flyers right wing Keith Jones announced Tuesday he will be retiring from hockey, succumbing to the knee pain that has troubled him throughout his career.
The 200-pound right wing has not scored a point in his eight games with the team this season. This is Jones' third season with the Flyers since being acquired by the Colorado Avalanche in late 1998. This is his ninth season with the National Hockey League. He finished his career with 491 games, 117 goals and 258 points.
Jones, 32, missed the first 58 games of the1997-1998 season due to surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament—his first of two. Jones tore his ACL in a game in mid-1997. Since then, Jones has frequently experienced inflammation of his left knee. His doctors told him Tuesday that his knee simply can't endure the demands of the game.
Jones says he took the news hard. "At the same time, I recognized that I was in a tremendous amount of pain," he told the Associated Press. "I knew that whatever was going wrong was getting worse."
Flyers general manager Bob Clarke said that Jones attempted everything he could think of to stay in the game, but team doctors said Jones' knee is in sore shape and will continue to deteriorate if he keeps playing. "He's been an important part of our club," Clark told the AP. "He played late in games, drew a lot of penalties, did a lot of agitating. This organization is going to miss him a lot."
Jones, known for his antagonistic style on the ice, says he plans to stay in hockey, possibly as a broadcaster, scout or coach, the AP reported.
Image courtesy of Philadelphia Flyers.com.