Wisconsin Olympian Likely To Compete In Bejing Games

Olympic gold medalist Paul Hamm's recovery from hand surgery is being accelerated so he'll be able to contend for a medal at the Beijing Games.

A thin plate and nine screws were inserted in Hamm's right hand yesterday to return a bone to its original alignment.

Dr. Lawrence Lubbers says the surgery at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio went very well. Lubbers says he wants to see a medal around Hamm's neck at Beijing.

Hamm hopes to be back on the equipment in five weeks. The men's competition in Beijing starts August ninth.

Lubbers says it's a tight schedule. So, surgeons will take some of Hamm's cells that promote bone growth, adding spongy bone material from cadavers and spreading the mixture around the site of the fracture. That should make the break heal even faster.