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T.J. Ford to have spinal surgery

MILWAUKEE, April 23 (UPI) -- Milwaukee rookie guard T.J. Ford has decided to undergo surgery to correct a condition which contributed to his being sidelined him for the playoffs.

The procedure will be performed early next month at the Los Angeles Spine Surgery Institute at St. Vincent Hospital. Ford is expected to be ready for training camp next fall.

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"After weighing the options and talking with my family, I feel that surgery is the best option for me at this stage of my career," Ford said Friday. "I appreciate the support of my family, the Bucks organization and the fans throughout this difficult process."

Ford, 21, suffered the spinal injury in a fall during the fourth quarter of a loss to Minnesota on Feb. 24. He fell hard on his tailbone and had to be taken off the court on a stretcher.

Initially diagnosed with a neck sprain, Ford later was found to have a bruised spinal cord. He missed the last 26 games of the regular season.

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