Jockey Gary Stevens to have knee replacement surgery

Gary Stevens fields questions from the media after

Gary Stevens fields questions from the media after riding Oxbow during the morning excercise session in preparation for the 139th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. (April 29, 2013) Photo Credit: Getty

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Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens announced Thursday on HRTV that he needs knee replacement surgery and expects to be sidelined for six months.

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Stevens, 51, has retired twice, mainly because of knee problems, but said he plans to return to riding in "late December or early January."

After ending a seven-year hiatus in January 2013, he won three of the country's most important races, the Preakness, Breeders' Cup Distaff and Breeders' Cup Classic.

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