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Knee ailment fells Harpring

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SALT LAKE CITY, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Veteran forward Matt Harpring has been lost to the Utah Jazz for at least three months because he needs right knee surgery.

Harpring, who leads the Jazz in scoring and rebounding, will undergo arthroscopic surgery once the swelling in his knee subsides. The procedure will repair a cartilage tear that has sidelined him since Jan. 2.

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Before missing the last four contests, Harpring was averaging 16.2 points and 8.0 rebounds per game and was a key component of the most surprising team in the NBA this season.

"I would consider losing Matt a big loss, of course," said Utah Vice President Kevin O'Connor. "He's a guy that averages (almost) 17 points a game, (is) one of the tougher players in the league, and he's been very good defensively this year."

In 300 games with four teams, Harpring has averaged 12.9 points and 6.0 rebounds.

The Jazz are 19-17 and contending for a playoff berth. They have reached the postseason 20 straight years.

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