Dr. Brian Cole performs knee cartilage transplant on Colorado Avalanche's Gabriel Landeskog

Orthopedic

Brian Cole, MD, head of the Cartilage Research and Restoration Center at Rush University Medical Center, performed a cartilage transplant surgery on the right knee of Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, according to ESPN News Services.

Five things to know:

1. Dr. Cole performed the procedure May 10 at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He performed a similar procedure on Chicago Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball in March.

2. Mr. Landeskog is the youngest team captain in NHL history and hasn't played for the Avalanche this season due to his knee injury; last year he led the team to a Stanley Cup championship. He is expected to spend next season recovering from the procedure.

3. Cartilage transplant surgery is rare among professional athletes and performed as an alternative to knee replacement. Mr. Ball and Mr. Landeskog aim to become one of the few athletes to play at the professional level after undergoing this procedure.

4. Dr. Cole is an international leader in cartilage transplant and joint restoration, with many publications focused on orthobiologics and sports medicine. He is a past president of the Arthroscopy Association of North America and was recently selected by Crain's as one of Chicago's Notable Leaders in healthcare.

5. In addition to his responsibilities at Rush, Dr. Cole is the team physician for the Chicago Bulls and co-team physician for the Chicago White Sox. He has treated other high-profile athletes, including former NBA MVP Derrick Rose.

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