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Sanders visits doctor, waits on return

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (June 7, 2005) -- Deion Sanders ' expected return to the Baltimore Ravens was delayed another day as the veteran nickelback flew to New York to have his surgically repaired toe examined by the doctor who performed the procedure.

Sanders, who turns 38 in August, returned to the Ravens' training complex in the evening and indicated that he hadn't yet been cleared medically.

Sanders underwent minor surgery on a toe in his left foot after last season. He was limited to nine games in 2004 with toe and hamstring injuries.

"I'm still waiting on (clearance)," said Sanders, who ran laps around the practice field after returning from his doctor's visit in New York. "I wish I did know."

Sanders hasn't signed a contract, pending passing a physical, but has agreed in principle to a one-year deal.

When asked if he might be cleared to practice June 8, Sanders replied: "Hopefully, pray for me."

The team had yet to hear a prognosis from Sanders' doctor as of early Tuesday night.

The results of the seven-time Pro Bowl cornerback's MRI exam were sent overnight June 6 to his doctor, who was scheduled to discuss them June 7 with Leigh Ann Curl, the team's chief orthopedic surgeon.

If Sanders is cleared medically, team officials said he could join the team for practice June 8.

"We have to send him to the proper people," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "Because of the nature of the injury, the surgery, we want to make sure we've got everybody on board and his doctor and the experts in New York. It's logistics."

Sanders ended a three-year retirement last season and finished second on the team with three interceptions. He was one of three NFL players to intercept three passes despite playing in less than 10 games.

Sanders is expected to split time in the Ravens' nickel and dime packages with Dale Carter, who missed all of last season with a blood clot in his lungs. Carter, 35, is healthy again and off blood thinners.

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