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Darien Lacrosse Stars Matheis, Barker Undergo Surgery

The procedures were performed Wednesday at the Hospital For Special Surgery in New York City.

If you're going to need surgery, best to have it done with a friend.

That was the situation facing Darien lacrosse standouts Case Matheis and Clay Barker, who had operations performed Wednesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Matheis underwent a procedure to repair a torn meniscus suffered in Darien's CIAC Class M quarterfinal game against Fairfield Ludlowe, while Barker was in surgery for an ACL torn in the third quarter of the FCIAC championship game against Ridgefield.

The players attended Darien's banquet until late Tuesday, then had to be at the hospital by 6 a.m. the next day. By Wednesday evening, they were home again resting.

The surgeries were performed by David Altchek, who rebuilt Barker's shoulder two years ago after he dislocated it in the Turkey Bowl.

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to have surgery with a buddy," quipped April Barker's, Clay's mother. "There were scared, but they helped each other get through it."

According to Barker, the recovery time for her son is three to six months, which certainly jeopardizes his chance to play for the Darien football team in the fall.

Barker said it will depend of how quickly her son's body heals and how hard he is willing to work in rehabilitation.

At best, it would seem that Clay won't be able to start playing until mid-September. Darien opens defense of its FCIAC championship on Sept. 16 against Fairfield Ludlowe.

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