Knee injury to sideline Panzetta for 8-12 months

January 24, 1991

Blast defender Angelo Panzetta will miss the remainder of the 1990-91 season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He also suffered torn cartilage in the knee and will undergo arthroscopic surgery tomorrow. Reconstructive surgery will be performed in the next few weeks.

Panzetta, 23, suffered the injuries in the Blast's 9-6 win over Wichita Sunday. Team doctors say that he will not be able to return to soccer for eight to 12 months.

"We are all sickened by the news," said Blast coach Kenny Cooper. "Not only are we talking about a player who was really coming into his own this season, but we're talking about a great person . . . We will eagerly await his return next season."

Cooper said Fallston's Joe Barger will take Panzetta's place in the lineup for tomorrow night's game in Cleveland.

In other news, the Blast announced that former San Francisco Giants pitcher Dave Dravecky will be the main speaker at the team's annual "God and Country Day" when it hosts the San Diego Sockers on Saturday, March 16.

Dravecky's lengthy and courageous bout with cancer has brought him national attention. Dravecky had surgery to remove a cancerous lump from his left (pitching) arm in 1988, but came back and pitched for the Giants in August 1989. After a sterling debut, Dravecky broke the humerous bone in the arm in his second start. Soon after, a cancerous tumor was again found in the arm, and he retired from baseball.

"God and Country Day" has become one of the Blast's most popular attractions in recent years, as the club joins with Baltimore's religious community to bring well-known Christian athletes to the Baltimore Arena.

For ticket information, contact Tim Donelli at (301) 327-2100. Group ticket discounts are available.

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