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Browns TE Winslow could miss 2005 season

CLEVELAND (May 19, 2005) -- Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee when he crashed his motorcycle, two sources within the league told The Associated Press, placing his 2005 season in doubt.

An injury such as Winslow's typically requires 10 to 12 months of rehabilitation.

Winslow, who wrecked his high-powered bike while riding in a parking lot on May 1, will get a second medical opinion before surgery is scheduled, said the sources, who have knowledge of his injuries and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Although the Browns have Winslow's medical test results, the club can not disclose the nature of his injuries because they have not received permission from Winslow or his family.

On Wednesday, after conferring with his father, NFL Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow Sr., the Browns issued a statement saying, "The Winslow family has not authorized us to release any information on Kellen's condition."

Until they are given approval, the Browns may not be able to reveal Winslow's injuries until he fails a physical and they have to place him on an injury list per league rules.

Winslow injured his right knee and sustained unspecified internal injuries when his motorcycle hit a curb near his home at 35 mph and he flipped over the handlebars.

Winslow was wearing a helmet, but it wasn't fastened properly and flew off when he hit the ground.

He spent nine days in the Cleveland Clinic before being released last week. Winslow, who has been resting at home, has not commented on his accident or his injuries.

Doctors had to wait for the swelling to go down on the 21-year-old's knee before performing a more thorough examination.

Winslow, who missed 14 games as a rookie with a broken leg, breached a hazardous activities clause in his contract by riding the motorcycle. The Browns could ask him to return part of the money he already has been paid as part of his six-year, $40 million contract - the richest deal given to a tight end.

Cleveland traded a second-round pick to move up a spot in the 2004 NFL draft to select Winslow, who starred at the University of Miami.

In his second game last season, Winslow broke a bone in the lower part of his right leg and tore ligaments in his ankle while trying to recover an onside kick. He had two operations on the leg and it was still mending at the time of his accident.

Meanwhile, police in suburban Westlake concluded their investigation of Winslow's accident this week and turned the case over to city law director John Wheeler, who will determine whether charges should be filed, Lt. Ray Arcuri said.

Winslow could be charged with reckless operation, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $250 fine.

A few hours before his accident, Winslow and a few friends drove 50 miles on their motorcycles to Canton to see a stunt riding team perform.

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