PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia 76ers guard Jason Richardson will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Richardson will soon undergo surgery on his left knee. It will be performed by Dr. Jonathan Glashow of Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York.

Richardson said that after seeing four different doctors it's been determined that he has a hole in his knee the size of a quarter.

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Because the surgery to repair the injury is much more extensive, it will be nine to 12 months before he can return to basketball, Richardson said.

"It's pretty tough news to hear," Richardson said in a video posted on the team's website.

"In 12 years, I've never been hurt like this. To be without basketball for that long of a time is going to be mentally tough for me. I'll just take it in stride."

Richardson started 33 games for the Sixers this season, averaging 10.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.21 steals across 28.4 minutes per game.

He had 40 steals, but missed the past eight games with the injury before the team ultimately decided on the surgery.

"I think from his standpoint this has got to be a little unneriving at this stage of his carer to have this kind of surgery," coach Doug Collins said.

"The recovery time is going to be lengthy. You take a guy whose career (has relied on being) explosive and jumping and all. J-rich is down and I can understand that."

The 76ers are already without center Andrew Bynum, who hasn't played a game this season due to pain in both knees, and forward Thaddeus Young, who's out about three weeks due to a left hamstring strain.

Young suffered the injury during Monday's 78-61 win over Orlando. Young is expected to return to the 76ers on Feb. 26, while Bynum has said he might return after the All-Star break.

Philadelphia - a season after landing in the Eastern Conference semifinals - is just 21-27, four games behind the No. 8 playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The 76ers will take on Charlotte tonight at home.

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