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Strahan vows to return next year

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) _ Michael Strahan vowed Tuesday to return to the New York Giants better than ever next year after surgery to repair a torn chest muscle.

The Pro Bowl defensive end had his season ended on Sunday after tearing a pectoral muscle in the third quarter of a 28-21 loss to the Chicago Bears.

Fellow starting defensive end Keith Washington also was lost for the season on Sunday with a knee injury.

Both players were placed on injured reserve Tuesday. The Giants (5-3) also announced that defensive end Lorenzo Bromell was activated off the physically unable to perform list. He has been recovering from knee surgery.

Giants guard Rich Seubert will remain on the PUP list, however, for the rest of the season. He hasn't been able to practice since breaking a leg against Philadelphia last season.

Strahan, who will be 33 in two weeks, was examined by the team's medical staff on Tuesday at Giants Stadium. He is scheduled to have surgery on Wednesday.

Ill be back,'' Strahan said in a statement released by the Giants.Hopefully, better than ever.''

The six-time Pro Bowler was hurt trying to tackle Bears running back Anthony Thomas. He reached out with his arm, and Thomas cut inside, snapping the arm back.

As soon as I heard it pop, I knew it was serious,'' said Strahan, who had started 95 straight regular-season games, and played in 137 straight.It's a play I've made a million times before. I think I might have had my arm too far back this time.''

Strahan's 118 sacks are the most among active players. The 12-year NFL veteran set a league record with 22.5 in 2001 and he led the league last year with 18.5. He had four sacks this season, including one Sunday against Craig Krenzel.

Strahan plans on being ready for training camp next year.

If I had blown out a knee or had a disc problem in my back, maybe I would feel differently,'' Strahan said.This is an injury that can happen to anyone.''

Strahan hopes to travel with the team the rest of the season. He plans on being around to help young linemen Osi Umenyiora and Lance Legree prepare for the final half of the season.

I don't like to, but I can watch a game from the sideline,'' Strahan said.I can't watch it on TV. I'll get too nervous. If I can't be with the team, I'll have to find something to do when they're playing games.''

Washington will probably have surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in a week to 10 days, the Giants said.

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