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Guerin might miss postseason

March 3, 2003 at 12:11 PM   |   Comments

VALLEY RANCH, Texas, March 3 (UPI) -- There is a possibility that superstar forward Bill Guerin is done for the season after undergoing emergency thigh surgery Saturday night.

Guerin suffered a severe thigh contusion Thursday when he collided with Chris Phillips of Ottawa in the third period of a 3-2 overtime loss. He missed the rest of the game, and sat out Friday's 5-3 loss in Buffalo.

At the moment, the best the Stars can hope for is having Guerin back for the first round of the NHL postseason. A team spokesman told the Dallas Morning News that the Stars are assessing their options before the March 11 trade deadline.

"We're going to assess the situation and do whatever we can do to improve our team if that's possible," General Manager Doug Armstrong told the paper, "but we were going to do that regardless of Bill's situation. That's a long-term contract that Bill has, and a lot more goes into whatever decision we make than just the last four or five days."

Guerin is suffering from "compartment syndrome," a rare condition where the bleeding becomes so severe that it cuts off circulation to the thigh muscle, according to Stars team doctor Dan Cooper.

"Then his condition deteriorated with just really massive swelling in the thigh, which created enough tension that it cuts off blood supply to the muscle," Dr. Cooper said. "Occasionally, an athlete can develop bone formation in the thigh from how the body heals itself."

He will have more surgery this week.

"Maybe I'm just being an optimist," Cooper said. "I think Bill will be back for the start of the playoffs and will be a contributing factor for the success we hope to have."

In the offseason, Guerin signed a five-year contract worth $45 million. He has 25 goals and 25 assists in 64 games. He scored a career-high 41 goals for Boston last season, and led the NHL with 355 shots on goal.

The Stars have a league-high 89 points, and lead Vancouver in the Northwest Division by three points after a 3-1 win over Pittsburgh Sunday night.

© 2003 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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