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Cards kicker has celebration inujury

Dec. 17, 2001 at 8:06 PM

TEMPE, Ariz., Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Celebrating a 42-yard field goal turned into a poor career decision for Arizona Cardinals rookie Bill Gramatica.

The team announced Monday that Gramatica has a torn anterior cruciate ligament as well as torn cartilage in his right knee in what Cards coach Dave McGinnis called the "most bizarre" injury he had ever seen.

After making the field goal with 7:41 left in the first quarter of Saturday's game against the New York Giants, Gramatica leaped in the air to celebrate. When he landed awkwardly, Gramatica fell to the ground and clutched his knee.

Gramatica remained in the game but was noticeably bothered by the knee after a weak kickoff. He added a 23-yard field goal with 13:33 left in the second quarter but was unavailable the rest of the day.

The injury initially was diagnosed as a hyperextended knee, but on Monday the Cards revealed that Gramatica will need reconstructive surgery, putting his career in jeopardy.

The younger brother of Tampa Bay's Martin Gramatica, He was a fourth-round pick out of South Florida and a reliable kicker for the Cards, converting 16-of-20 field goals and all 25 extra-point attempts.

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