Ouch Louren - Im sorry to hear about the injury. Like others have suggested, get that qualified opinion...or two. In fact, have you had an MRI to confirm the tear? I'm sure any orthopod is going to want to see the images to confirm.
Also, like others, I'm no doctor, but I have torn both my ACLs and although I'm a little older than you, I'm back to 100%...or as close to it as I'm likely to get :)
Is your limp due to pain and swelling or instability? In other words, does it feel like your knee is slipping out of joint and buckling? If you are not unstable, then you might do well to work on quad strength for a month or more before surgery. My left ACL injury was catastrophic - I couldn't walk without crutches and a locked out brace, so surgery right away was pretty much my only option. With my right tear, I didn't even have it confirmed until after the ski season, it was not particularly unstable, just hurt with some movements. Having that extra time to be in the gym between diagnosis and surgery made a huge difference in my recovery. My quad bounced back very quickly, much to the surprise of my PT and doctor. Unfortunatly, even with the strong quad, docs mandate a 6 month recovery window due to the bone graft and nerve reaction times. The good news is that you can return to non-cutting supports (handball may not qualify) in 3-4 months...your milage may vary.
Interestingly, there has been some research about the effectivness of PT versus surgery, particularly in younger patients with no instability problems. There was a report from Europe in 2010 (can't find the link, know NPR reported it) which suggested the outcomes are exactly the same...again, provided you don't have stability issues. With stability issues surgery is the only viable option. I said I'm not a doc, but my friend Howard Luks is, I think he has some info on his site: http://www.howardluksmd.com/education/common-injuries/anterior-cruciate-ligament/
he's all over facebook and twitter, you might shoot him a note for an impartial opinion.
Good luck on the recovery - keep us posted!