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CLEVELAND - Cleveland Browns wide receiver Joe Jurevicius likely will miss the start of the regular season because of his recent knee surgery.
Browns general manager Phil Savage told WTAM radio station yesterday that Jurevicius will probably start the season on the physically unable to perform list. If he does, Jurevicius would miss at least the first six weeks of the season.
Jurevicius has swelling and discomfort in his right knee related to a previous procedure in June.
"It's been very frustrating for everybody because this started off as just an innocent knee scope back in January, and it's morphed itself into multiple procedures," Savage told the radio station yesterday.
Jurevicius had 50 catches for 614 yards and three touchdowns last season. The 33-year-old was expected to see a reduced role this season as the Browns' No. 3 receiver behind wide receivers Braylon Edwards and newly acquired Donte' Stallworth.
The most likely candidates to replace Jurevicius are special teams Pro Bowler Joshua Cribbs and wide receiver Travis Wilson.
But Cribbs has only 14 receptions over three seasons and dropped a number of balls during minicamp last month. Wilson, a third-round draft pick in 2006, didn't play at all last season and has been a disappointment.
Savage said Jurevicius will be evaluated before training camp starts Wednesday and that the team might not know his status until the end of August. The regular season begins Sept. 7 against Dallas.
Following Jurevicius' first surgery, he contracted a staph infection, the sixth Browns player in four years to get staph.
He made progress toward a return to minicamp, but his knee flared up again and he had surgery on June 30.
Jurevicius has two years remaining on a four-year contract. The 10-year veteran has also played for the New York Giants, Tampa Bay and Seattle.