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Lightning's Halpern out with serious knee injury @NHL

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -Tampa Bay Lightning center Jeff Halpern ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the world hockey championships and is expected to be sidelined until late December or early January.

Halpern also sprained the medial collateral ligament and suffered a small tear to the lateral meniscus during the United States' 5-4 loss to Canada in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Tuesday.

Lightning general manager Jay Feaster said doctors recommended Halpern wait 4 to 6 weeks to allow the MCL to heal before undergoing reconstructive surgery on the ACL. The operation will require an additional 5 to 6 months recovery time.

Halpern flew from Halifax to Washington, D.C., where he was examined Wednesday by Dr. Benjamin Shaffer, who also performed surgery on Halpern's left knee to repair a torn ACL in 2002.

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