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Cutting it close

An ode to ACL surgery

Updated: October 8, 2009, 4:30 PM ET
By Alyssa Roenigk | ESPN The Magazine

This article appears in the October 19 Body Issue of ESPN The Magazine.

From learning that Coach has gambling debts to surviving an atomic wedgie, sports overflows with rites of passage. But none fires the smithy of the soul quite like an ACL tear. The path to ligament enlightenment may begin with a bang (see: Brady, Tom) or -- as with motocross star Blake "Bilko" Williams -- the whimper of a (right) knee twinge. But either way, nothing in sports says "I've arrived" better ...

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