NEW YORK, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- The New York Rangers suffered a major blow Thursday when veteran right wing Pavel Bure failed his physical and was declared physically unfit to play.
He has spent the past six months rehabilitating his surgically repaired right knee.
"Pavel worked extremely hard this summer to do everything in his power to get his knee to a point where he would be able to play," said Coach and General Manager Glen Sather. "We are all very disappointed for him, knowing the effort he put in."
There is no timetable for when Bure, 32, may be able to resume his career, and it is possible he may need to undergo a third reconstruction of the right ACL.
Known as the "Russian Rocket," Bure is due to make $10 million in 2003-04, the final year of his contract.
Acquired from the Florida Panthers before the 2002 trade deadline, he scored 12 goals in that season's final 12 games, but the Rangers again failed to make the playoffs.
For his career, Bure has 437 goals and 342 assists over 702 games with Vancouver, Florida, and the Rangers, who begin training camp Friday at Burlington, Vt.