- The Washington Times - Friday, May 18, 2007

Already trying to rehabilitate shoulder and hand injuries, Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis now has to deal with a knee problem.

Portis missed the team’s offseason workouts Wednesday and yesterday to travel to Birmingham, Ala., where he was examined by Dr. James Andrews and diagnosed with patella tendinitis.

“It cropped up at the end of last week,” coach Joe Gibbs said. “He had some soreness in the knee, but he described that he could run and work out on it and it would be fine the next day. This week it bothered him after the workout day so we decided to have it looked at.”

There is no timetable for when Portis can return his running program.

“He has to get some therapy, strengthen his quadriceps, stretch his hamstring and he’ll be fine,” director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer said. “We had it looked at to make sure it was OK and we think we’re OK.”

Portis missed eight games in 2006 and was limited to 127 carries after sustaining a shoulder injury in the opening series of the first preseason game and then a broken hand in Week 11 at Philadelphia. He has spent the offseason rehabilitating in Miami and Northern Virginia.

Tyer said Portis complained of soreness for a few weeks, but the pain intensified Tuesday. Proceeding with caution, the Redskins shut him down and sent him to Alabama.

“The main thing is to get it taken care of now,” Gibbs said. “What we don’t want are things to be [a problem] when we get to camp. … Hopefully, it will be something that goes away.”

Gibbs, who said the injury wasn’t a result of Portis working out too hard or too often, isn’t concerned about his long-term durability.

“He’s actually a really young guy and hasn’t had many injuries, just a shoulder in high school and a shoulder [and hand] last year,” the coach said. “His legs have always been in good shape. I don’t anticipate a problem there, and I don’t think he has any injuries that we’re worried about.”

Portis is only 25 but he has taken a lot of hits during his five NFL seasons — 1,385 carries and 158 receptions — and the shoulder injury wasn’t a minor problem.

In other news, Redskins safety Sean Taylor, absent from last week’s workout, completed his third practice with extra on-field work with the other safeties and assistant coach Steve Jackson.

“He’s noticeably thinner than he has been, probably on purpose,” Gibbs said. “I’d say he’s in pretty good shape right now.”

Taylor was listed last season at 230 pounds. He will be expected to become more vocal this season playing alongside rookie LaRon Landry.

“Sean’s one of our leaders, and he’s somebody we count on,” Gibbs said. “He’s been a leader by example since he got here, and I certainly think our defense looks up to him because of the way he plays.”

The only missing Redskin continues to be cornerback Shawn Springs.

Campbell taking trip

Quarterback Jason Campbell will compete in the DirecTV NFL Quarterback Challenge in the Cayman Islands this weekend. It will air on ESPN on Friday, Aug. 3. The event also features Minnesota’s Tarvaris Jackson, Detroit’s Jon Kitna, Jacksonville’s Byron Leftwich and San Francisco’s Alex Smith. …

Former Redskins general manager Charley Casserly, now working for CBS, attended yesterday’s practice. He said he is making trips to several teams’ workouts leading into training camp. Casserly was the Redskins’ general manager from 1989 to 1999, was fired by Daniel Snyder and then served as the Houston Texans’ general manager from 2002 to 2006.

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