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Eagles' Buckhalter lost for season again

The Philadelphia Eagles' star-crossed running back Correl Buckhalter, who missed nearly all of training camp, had season-ending knee surgery for the third time in four years.

The team announced yesterday that Buckhalter underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a torn patella tendon in his right knee. Last year, he had season-ending surgery on the same tendon after he injured it in an exhibition game.

''He's a great kid," Eagles coach Andy Reid said yesterday. ''He worked so hard in the offseason. He came back in phenomenal shape. We were looking forward to getting him back out there. He did some good things. For that to happen, your heart goes out to the guy."

Buckhalter was injured in practice Aug. 5, but initial MRI tests were inconclusive.

Strahan in doubt

Giants defensive end Michael Strahan missed his second practice with strained rib cartilage, putting his status in doubt for tomorrow's game against the New York Jets.

Strahan experienced tightness in his rib cage after doing drills Tuesday and sat out the evening practice. He said he still hoped to play against the Jets.

''I plan to. But it's preseason," he said. ''If I'm not right, I won't play. If I'm right, I'll play."

Arrington speaks up

Breaking his media silence, Washington Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington said the upcoming season will determine whether he is ''washed up." He added he's looking forward to not being the focal point of the defense for the first time in his career. Arrington unexpectedly stopped to talk at length to reporters to discuss his 2005 preseason debut. The three-time Pro Bowl linebacker returned to practice last week after a lengthy rehabilitation from two knee operations and is expected to play tomorrow against Pittsburgh . . . The Indianapolis Colts placed quarterback Travis Brown on injured reserve ending his season. Brown hurt his right shoulder and elbow in the Colts' 24-17 loss to Chicago Saturday . . . John Madden, a legendary coach and one of the NFL's best-known television personalities, was named a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, along with former Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Rayfield Wright.

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