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Sunday, January 5
Updated: January 6, 9:32 AM ET
Miami back had only two tears, not three news services

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Miami running back Willis McGahee had surgery Sunday on two torn ligaments in his left knee following a crushing hit during a Tostitos Fiesta Bowl loss to Ohio State.

The All-American sophomore and Heisman Trophy finalist was operated on for four-to-five hours at HealthSouth Doctors Hospital, next to the campus, school spokesman Doug Walker said. He is expected to be released Monday.

Dr. John Uribe, who performed the surgery, declined to set a timetable for McGahee's return.

"Willis tolerated the procedure very well," Uribe said in a statement. "If nature does its job and his rehabilitation goes well, he should be able to make a full recovery."

The damage appeared to be less serious than expected. Doctors found torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments but no tear to the posterior collateral ligament. Assistant coach Don Soldinger said Saturday that McGahee had torn all three ligaments.

"It was not reconstruction of the knee," Eugene Poole, McGahee's older half-brother, told the Miami Herald.

McGahee was injured early in the fourth quarter of Friday's game, a 31-24 double-overtime victory by Ohio State for the national championship.

He took a screen pass from Ken Dorsey on third-and-10 from the Ohio State 35 and was hit by Will Allen for a 2-yard loss. McGahee had to be helped from the field. He was in severe pain much of the night, coaches said.

McGahee had torn the ACL in the same knee during his senior season at Miami Central High School. His rehabilitation lasted seven months, the Herald said.

"He told me that the pain was not as bad as last time," Poole told the newspaper. "The swelling was down the next day."

Poole said McGahee, who ran for a school-record 1,686 yards and 27 touchdowns this season, had not decided whether he would turn pro after this, his third season at Miami. He redshirted his first year.

"We were going to weigh the options after this game," Poole said. "He was going to talk to a personal lawyer and the family about it. He didn't want to bother with it during the season. We didn't get a chance to talk about it."

Poole told the Herald that McGahee had not taken any steps to enter the draft but he still might consider it.

"It depends on what they tell him about his knee," Poole said. "Going pro might be an option."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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