PHOENIX (AP) - p>``The medical team is very pleased with the outcome of the surgery of what was a significant knee injury,' said Emerson, an orthopedic surgeon who performed the operation. ``Tom will begin rehabilitation immediately and it is expected he will recover from the challenging and difficult rehabilitation process.'
Emerson said he reconstructed or repaired complete ruptures to the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament, a partial rupture of the posterior cruciate ligament and the separation of the medial meniscus.
Emerson has estimated that it will take a year for Gugliotta to recover. That means he is expected to be removed from the U.S. team that is to compete in the Sydney Olympics in September.
Gugliotta's injury has led to speculation that Vince Carter would be his replacement.
The 30-year-old forward was injured late in a home game against Utah on March 10, when teammate Randy Livingston tumbled into his legs beneath the Suns' basket. Gugliotta was playing his best basketball of the season at the time of the injury.
Gugliotta played in 54 games this season. He averaged 13.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.48 steals while shooting .481 from the field.
The injury brought a miserable end to what had already been a difficult season. Gugliotta missed seven games after suffering a life-threatening seizure on the team bus following the Suns' victory at Portland Dec. 17.
Emerson has said that he believes an herbal supplement that Gugliotta was taking to help him sleep caused the seizure.
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