MIAMI -- Chad Pennington's shoulder surgery was less extensive than feared, and the Miami Dolphins' quarterback should be able to play next season if he so chooses, a person familiar with the results of the operation told The Associated Press on Sunday.
The person didn't want to be identified because the Dolphins haven't released any information about Pennington's surgery. The person said the arthroscopic procedure was encouraging because there was no damage to the rotator cuff, and Pennington should be able to start throwing a ball in 8 to 12 weeks.
Two operations on Pennington's right shoulder in 2005 involved the rotator cuff. He's already a two-time winner of the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award, most recently in 2008.
Pennington's latest injury, which occurred Sept. 27 at San Diego, sidelined him for the season. Dr. James Andrews performed the operation Friday in Birmingham, Ala.
Pennington, 33, is in the final year of a two-year contract with Miami. He said last week that he'll wait until he starts rehabilitation to decide whether to continue his NFL career.