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 CLEVELAND (AP) -For the second straight year, the Browns' top free-agent acquisition has undergone surgery before playing one snap.
Offensive lineman Eric Steinbach underwent an appendectomy Wednesday at the Cleveland Clinic and was released from the hospital Thursday. The Browns say he will make a full recovery and be ready for June minicamp.
Dr. Anthony Miniaci, the team's head physician, said Steinbach will be limited in the Browns' offseason strength and conditioning program for the next three to six weeks.
Steinbach, who spent his first four seasons with Cincinnati, signed a seven-year, $49.5 million contract with Cleveland in early March.
The Browns, needing to repair an ineffective and unstable offensive line, have spent big money in free agency the last two seasons, signing the top free-agent lineman available.
Cleveland signed Pro Bowl center LeCharles Bentley to a six-year, $36 million contract last season. While blocking on a running play in summer training camp, Bentley tore a tendon in his knee when planting his foot. Following surgery, he got a staph infection, which caused further damage to the tendon.
Bentley needed a second operation just one month after the first to clean out the infection and fix the damage it caused to his tendon. He was hospitalized for more than one month at the Cleveland Clinic.
Bentley's status is unclear for the upcoming season and his injury is possibly career-threatening.
The Browns on Thursday also signed restricted free agent nose tackle Ethan Kelley to a one-year contract. Kelley played 11 games, including one start at left defensive end, and had 22 tackles.
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