NEW YORK—In an extremely depressing case of denial Monday, a professional athlete about to undergo season-ending knee surgery told reporters that following the complex, four-hour-long procedure, he could be even stronger and faster than he was prior to the injury. "The new ligament will actually be more durable than the last one since it won't have been through all the wear and tear," said the pathetic player, blatantly disregarding the fact that doctors would be harvesting other parts of his body in order to perform the surgery, thus weakening crucial muscles surrounding the knee and essentially making him a shell of his former self. "I bet I'll be able to move quicker than I did in college." According to sources, even more heartbreaking than the player's unrealistic statement has been the response from his fans, who not only ignored their gut instinct that the player's once-promising career was basically over, but actually began speculating how good their team would be when he finally returns.