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Canadian Press
12/23/2006 7:02:34 PM

TORONTO (CP) - Michael Peca's season could be over.

The veteran Maple Leafs centre is expected to miss at least three months with a fractured tibia at the base of his right knee, general manager John Ferguson said Saturday.

Peca collided with Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Jim Vandermeer in the first period of Toronto's 3-1 loss to Chicago Friday night.

He had to be helped off the ice and left the dressing room on crutches, wearing an air cast.

Vandermeer received a major penalty for kneeing and a game misconduct.

''He's in quite a bit of pain,'' Toronto coach Paul Maurice said of Peca after the game. ''We're not going to know until the doctors get a better look inside.

''This is not day-to-day. It's a bad injury.''

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