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Surgery could keep Sanders from start of camp


By Bart Hubbuch

IRVING - Cowboys cornerback Deion Sanders underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle Friday that could sideline him for the start of training camp.

Sanders had a bone spur removed from his ankle in Miami by Dr. John Uribe, the Miami Dolphins' team physician who performed similar surgery on the same ankle in September 1995 that delayed Sanders' Cowboys debut by nearly two months.

Cowboys officials said Sanders, who suffered the injury as a member of Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds three years ago and aggravated it recently while playing racquetball, will undergo at least four to six weeks of rehabilitation. The injury further delays new coach Chan Gailey's plan to use Sanders as a wide receiver.

The Cowboys are expected to open training camp July 15 or 16 in Wichita Falls. Because of baseball commitments and injuries, Sanders has participated in an NFL training camp just once in the past six years.

Kevin Mathis will take Sanders' place at left cornerback and punt returner while Sanders recovers.