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Redskins Notebook

With Season Completed, Several Players Visit Doctor's Office

By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 4, 2005; Page D03

The Washington Redskins have two players, offensive linemen Chris Samuels and Ray Brown, scheduled for minor surgery in the offseason, while linebackers LaVar Arrington and Mike Barrow and wide receiver Laveranues Coles will be meeting with specialists shortly to evaluate the status of their injuries and determine treatment.

Samuels will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle tomorrow, a procedure he underwent on his other ankle last year, and Brown will have the same procedure on his right ankle.

LaVar Arrington hopes to come back next season fully recovered from a knee injury that cost him nearly the entire 2004 season. (John McDonnell - The Washington Post)

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Coles has been dealing with an arthritic toe the last two seasons, and will meet with a specialist within the next two weeks to further diagnose the injury. Arrington, who was able to start just two games this season because of a right knee problem, will consult with doctors in Birmingham on Monday and settle on a rehabilitation plan to have him fully healthy when the team reconvenes on March 21, Bubba Tyer, the Redskins' director of sports medicine, said. Barrow missed the entire preseason and regular season with a knee injury that Tyer said could be career-threatening.

Coles, Washington's top receiver, has told trainers and coaches he is not inclined to undergo surgery, and his toe responded well to a recent cortisone shot. Coach Joe Gibbs and Tyer said the final decision on any medical procedure will be made by Coles, who will meet with team officials again after traveling to Charlotte to meet a specialist. Tyer said the pain in Coles's toe decreased and his mobility increased after the shot. "Is this the answer?" Tyer said. "That's what we have to find out."

Coles was unable to accelerate normally this season, and the Redskins would like him to return to good health because he is a deep threat that was lacking in the passing game this season. Surgery would involve removing one of the arthritic bones from Coles's right big toe, and the player is worried he may not heal properly. "He would have to make the final decision," Gibbs said.

Arrington underwent surgery to trim the meniscus in his knee in September. He aggravated a bone bruise during his recovery, limiting him to minor duty in two of the final 14 games. His recovery was originally estimated at four to six weeks, and the lingering condition frustrated Arrington, but Tyer said he does not anticipate any further procedures will be necessary and Arrington will be given a detailed, two-month rehabilitation program.

"I would think he'd be ready to rock and roll next [season]," Gibbs said.

Barrow, 34, suffered from acute tendinitis in his quadriceps tendon, and will see another specialist this month. Given his health and his age, and the emergence of several young linebackers, Barrow could be released before next season. When asked if the injury is career-threatening, Tyer said: "He was out all year and he's an 11-year veteran. What do you think?"

Tyer said players such as Fred Smoot (bruised back) and Clinton Portis (shoulder) will recover fully from minor injuries with rest. He said players already recovering from season-ending surgery, such as lineman Jon Jansen, safety Matt Bowen and return specialist Chad Morton, should be healthy in the spring.

Nonconference Opponents

Besides their normal NFC East schedule, the Redskins will host San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, Oakland and San Diego in 2005, while the Redskins will travel to Tampa Bay, Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis and Arizona. . . . Brown, 42, said he has not made a final decision about returning for another season, but is leaning that way. Gibbs said he expects him to be back. . . . Cornerback Walt Harris, who underwent career-threatening knee surgery last offseason, believes he will be significantly better by March given his rapidly improving health. With Smoot potentially leaving as a free agent, Harris said he is more than capable of starting next season.

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