SAN DIEGO (AP) -Chargers Pro Bowl linebacker Shawne Merriman said Saturday he has two torn ligaments in his left knee and has been told by doctors that he could suffer a possible career-ending injury if he attempts to play without having surgery.
Merriman said he has tears in both the posterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments. He said doctors agree that he needs surgery to repair the damage.
``It could be career-threatening if I did (play),'' Merriman said. ``It's a possibility. That possibility is still open.''
A course of action has not been decided. Merriman, who will consult with a doctor in Miami early next week before making a decision, has been told reconstructive surgery would sideline him for the entire 2008 season. Another option is a less-invasive surgery that would allow him to play at some point in the season.
``They've all said the same things about the injury,'' Merriman said. ``(They're) kind of surprised that I've been playing with it up to this point.''
The Chargers open the regular season Sept. 7 against the Carolina Panthers. Merriman wants to play this season.
``That's first and foremost,'' Merriman said. ``That's what I want to do. That's why this decision is even out there still and not already made, because I want to play, period. The question is what should I do? How long should I play with it?
``It's a thousand different options at this point and I'm just trying to make the best one.''
Merriman left the team Tuesday to seek opinions from other doctors, a trek that included a visit with renowned surgeon James Andrews on Wednesday in Birmingham, Ala. He said he is seeking as many opinions as he can for a reason.
``I'm just trying to make the best decision possible for the team and for my career,'' Merriman said.
Coach Norv Turner has remained optimistic all week that Merriman will be able to play this season. He again expressed that hope Saturday.
``Right now, in talking to him, his mind-set is he's doing everything he can to get ready for Carolina, our opener,'' Turner said. ``He just wants to get a little bit more information on his knee.''
Merriman has made the Pro Bowl in each of his three NFL seasons. He has 39 1/2 sacks in that span, more than any other NFL player.

Recent NFL Discussions

Advertisement
Advertisement

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Texans vs. Colts Pick The Colts racked up plenty of points in their previous game but is the under the best play when they host the Texans this Sunday?
Thumbnail Bengals vs. Browns Pick Can the Cleveland Browns find a way to compete with the Cincinnati Bengals when the two meet up this Sunday?
Thumbnail Steelers vs. Bills Prediction Will this Sunday's AFC matchup between the Steelers and Bills turn into a high-scoring affair at 1:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Chargers vs. Panthers Pick Will the Carolina Panthers and San Diego Chargers have a shootout when the two meet up on Sunday at 1PM ET?
Thumbnail Raiders vs. Chiefs Pick Is the under a good bet to cash on Thursday night when the Chiefs host the Raiders at 8:25PM ET?

NFL Team Pages