Lachey's career in doubt after shoulder injury

September 19, 1995|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF

Washington Redskins left tackle Jim Lachey, a three-time Pro Bowl player who missed the 1993 season with a knee injury, probably will miss the final 13 games of this season -- and maybe more -- after suffering a complete tear of the rotator cuff in his right shoulder Sunday.

After Lachey underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam yesterday, the Redskins doctors said they think he'll have to undergo surgery. But Lachey is going to see one or two shoulder specialists before deciding on his future.

"I think you have to face that question when you've had a knee injury in your ninth year and a shoulder injury in your 11th," Lachey said. "You have to figure out if you're able to come back, and if you do come back, are you the same player? I don't want to cripple myself playing this game."

Lachey, 32, underwent rotator cuff surgery in 1987 when he was in San Diego and had a minor tear in 1989 with the Redskins that didn't need surgery.

Second-year player Joe Patton filled in for Lachey against the Denver Broncos on Sunday. But if guard Tre Johnson, who missed the game with a sprained ankle, can return this week, the Redskins likely will move guard Ray Brown to tackle in Lachey's spot.

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