"We wish John all the best and pray he has a safe and speedy recovery," said Thorpe. "To say that we will miss him is surely an understatement. We fully expect him to be around as much as possible as he is very much still a part of this team. We're counting on the rest of the team to step up in his absence and play some solid lacrosse."
"It's very unfortunate, especially at my age, but I'm going to work as hard as I possibly can to get back into game shape and play for Rochester again," said Grant, 33. "I want to be there as much as I can throughout the season to support my teammates."
Grant underwent surgery Tuesday of last week on his elbow and knee to remove an infection that was beginning to migrate from his elbow to his knee. Grant went into surgery just two days later on his knee to remove more of the infection after an MRI discovered the first surgery failed to successfully remove it all.
After his second knee scope, Grant was forced into emergency surgery last Friday when doctors discovered the infection was getting worse as it started to attack his left ACL. As a result, the doctors in Peterborough had to remove his entire ACL and the screws, which attached the ligament to the bone.
Grant will be in a knee brace from four to 12 months, at which time he will enter another surgery to re-insert his ACL. The doctors will only operate on Grant once the infection is completely gone. In the meantime, Grant is being treated with various antibiotics to combat the infection.
Grant completed his ninth season with Rochester in 2008. He is the team's all-time leader in goals (394), assists (417) and points (811). Grant is among the Top 5 point producers in league history. The Peterborough native is also a five-time NLL First Team All-Pro (2000, 2000-01, 2005, 2006 and 2007), and a two-time Second Team member (2001-02 and 2002-03). In addition, he has been selected to play in the league's all-star game six times: 2001-02, 2003-04, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. He was also the 2000 NLL Rookie of the Year.
In 2007, he won the NLL Champion's Cup and was named the Game MVP. He also earned league MVP honors and was a First Team All-Pro. The forward led the NLL with 51 goals and 111 points.
This summer, Grant earned his second straight Bud Light Major League Lacrosse MVP and Offensive Player of the Year awards as he led the Rochester Rattlers to their first ever league title in franchise history. He also led the MLL in scoring for a second straight campaign. In addition, he led the Peterborough Lakers to the Ontario Lacrosse Association major Series Finals.
The Knighthawks will open their 2009 National Lacrosse League schedule at Chicago on Saturday, December 27th. The Knighthawks will battle the East Division Shamrox at 8:00 p.m. Rochester will also host Chicago in their home opener on Saturday, January 10th at 8:05 p.m. at The Blue Cross Arena.
The Knighthawks enter their 15th season in the National Lacrosse League in 2009. Rochester won the 2007 Champion's Cup, which was the second title in the franchise's history. Rochester won its first championship in 1997.