Blades Undergoes Surgery, But Others Return to Work

By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Reserve linebacker H.B. Blades underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee yesterday and will miss about four weeks, Redskins Coach Jim Zorn said. Meanwhile, safeties Stuart Schweigert and Kareem Moore came back to practice and rookie wide receiver Malcolm Kelly took limited work. The Redskins are trying to manage the rash of injuries that have hit them early in camp, though most seem minor.

Blades, who is competing with Khary Campbell for a primary backup spot at linebacker, is expected to be back by the end of training camp. Blades tore the meniscus in his knee during practice Monday and is the fifth player to undergo surgery since camp opened July 20.

Kelly, who hurt his hamstring last week but ran some routes in the afternoon practice yesterday, said his hamstring still felt weak, but the pain and swelling were dissipating.

Kelly, one of the team's three 2008 second-round picks, could take part in Sunday's preseason opener, Zorn said, if he can increase his workload gradually without a setback this week. "We still don't want him to push it," Zorn said.

Zorn said Kelly is the closest to being ready to play among fellow wideouts Devin Thomas and Anthony Mix, who are also battling hamstring injuries suffered last week. Safety LaRon Landry's hamstring also has kept him out since last week.

Moore, who underwent offseason knee surgery, had been out several days but participated fully in practice. Schweigert missed a day with a calf injury, but he, too, was back in full drills yesterday.

Defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery and linebacker Rian Wallace each probably is out at least two weeks after hand surgery Monday, and defensive end Chris Wilson remains sidelined with a calf injury.

Defensive end Erasmus James is still weeks away from being able to attempt to practice, Zorn said. James was acquired from Minnesota while still rehabbing from major knee surgery, and the Redskins anticipated he would require several months more to be ready to play.

Running back Eric Shelton continues to be examined by doctors. Shelton injured his neck and shoulders and has experienced numbness in his limbs the past few days. He has not practiced this week.

"We just want to make sure we know exactly what's happening," Zorn said.

Campbell Is Sharp

Quarterback Jason Campbell had his best session of the summer yesterday morning, showing great command in the pocket, making shrewd decisions and delivering accurate passes.

Zorn is working with him on speeding up all aspects of play, and on delivering the ball to a precise area, often before a receiver is entirely open.

"Jason Campbell today was lights out," Zorn said after the morning practice.

Looking Up to Cooley

Chris Cooley brightened some children's days yesterday.

After the morning practice, a group from the Children's National Medical Center were the excited recipients of gifts from the tight end. They spent time at Redskins Park as special VIPs hosted by Cooley, where they toured the facility, watched practice and interacted with players.

Their gift packages, worth about $300, included hand-held gaming systems, games, videos and Redskins memorabilia.

Cooley said he would like to hold a similar event every few months.

Fabini Falls Ill

Offensive lineman Jason Fabini had to leave practice early this morning after becoming sick. Fabini began throwing up on the field and appeared to be suffering from heat-induced problems and dehydration. Zorn said the vomiting was "incontrollable," and Fabini missed the afternoon session. He is expected back for practice this morning, Zorn said. . . .

The Redskins waived defensive tackle Zarnell Fitch two days after signing him and signed defensive tackle Babatunde Oshinowo. Oshinowo spent three games on Chicago's active roster in 2007 and was originally drafted by Cleveland in 2006.

Staff writer Andrew Astleford contributed to this report.

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