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FitzPatrick's Knee Infected; Lowe Out

September 07, 1987|TOM FRIEND

SAN DIEGO — Two players limped out of the Charger offices Sunday afternoon: starting left guard James FitzPatrick and reserve linebacker Woodrow Lowe.

FitzPatrick woke up Sunday morning with a swollen left knee and later needed crutches just to get around. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on the same knee three weeks ago, and team doctors are now saying that the knee is infected.

Coach Al Saunders said Sunday he isn't sure whether FitzPatrick will play in Sunday's season opener against Kansas City. If he can't, Sam Claphan will start in his place.

Lowe, who injured his left knee two weeks ago, felt a "clicking" sound in the knee last week, and team doctors diagnosed it Sunday as cartilage damage. Saunders said Lowe will undergo surgery Tuesday and will be out four to six weeks.

Steve Feldman, the agent for unsigned linebacker Thomas Benson, said Sunday that he and Steve Ortmayer, Charger director of football operations, made progress in negotiations Saturday night but did not talk Sunday.

Feldman, who on Sunday was in Detroit negotiating a contract for Lion tight end Jimmie Giles, said: "I was surprised at my inability to reach him today. But I'll be coming down to San Diego today to try to get a deal done."

Ortmayer was unavailable for comment.

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