By Philip Hersh, Tribune reporter
4:11 PM CST, December 5, 2012
The only U.S. pairs skating team with even a long shot at the world elite has been knocked out of action, almost certainly for the rest of the season, after John Coughlin underwent surgery Tuesday for a torn labrum in the left hip.
Coughlin’s surgeon, Marc Philippon, also operated on the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez in 2009 for the same injury.
Coughlin and his second-year partner, Caydee Denney, the reigning U.S. champions, lost a tie-breaker for last of six qualifying spots in this week’s Grand Prix Final. Third places at Skate America and the Rostelecom left them seventh overall.
U.S. Figure Skating spokesperson Barb Reichert said after announcing Coughlin's surgery Wednesday she did not know when the skater had injured himself. He and Denney last competed a month ago.
The pair finished eighth at last year’s world championships.
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