Steamboat's Johnny Spillane tears ACL, MCL, likely out 4 to 6 months

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Johnny Spillane

— Steamboat Springs’ Johnny Spillane seems to spend most of his time in the world of skiing either on the podium or in the doctor’s office.

The three-time Olympic silver medalist and 2003 World Champion confirmed Wednes­day that he completely tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee earlier this month.

The injury occurred July 11 while Spillane was at teammate and 2010 Olympic gold medalist Billy Demong’s wedding. Spillane hurt his knee while jumping off a cliff into a lake.

“I’ve been through this stuff before,” Spillane said Wed­nesday. “It’s the first non-skiing-related thing, so that’s a little bit of a bummer. At this point, it’s hard to say how long I’ll be out.”

Spillane had surgery Tuesday and said doctors have told him he should be ready for the 2011 season, including the 2011 World Championships in Oslo-Holmenkollen, Norway. Spillane said he expects his rehab time to be between four and six months.

After the accident, Spillane had an MRI in Steamboat, but because of swelling in the knee doctors couldn’t diagnose him.

Spillane had multiple obligations and wasn’t able to keep the swelling down until Monday, when U.S. Ski Team doctors in Park City, Utah, discovered the extent of the injury.

It becomes Spillane’s eighth surgery since 2003. He’s had five surgeries on his shoulders, three on his knees and multiple herniated discs in his back. Five of those surgeries were season-ending.

He hurt his right knee last summer at the Ski Jumping Extravaganza in Steamboat. He had surgery on that knee in August and October of 2009.

The injury will keep Spillane out of Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s U.S. Jumping and Nordic Com­bined Champ­ionships in Park City.

“I hope the guys have a good time this weekend,” Spillane said. “I’m not even sure Billy has started jumping, so hopefully some of the younger guys can do well.”

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