It's operation No. 28 for Alaskan Schlereth

Posted: Wednesday, October 18, 2000

DENVER -- Denver Broncos offensive guard Mark Schlereth is having surgery for the 28th time in his career, and the 14th time on his left knee alone.

Schlereth is a graduate of Anchorage's Service High School. He was scheduled for arthroscopic surgery Monday night to remove some loose particles that have been bothering him for several weeks.

"We're hoping that after the bye week he will be back," Broncos Coash Mike Shanahan said.

The Broncos (4-3) visit Cincinnati (0-6) on Sunday, then have a bye the following week.

Schlereth, 34, had surgery on the same knee at the start of training camp in July and was sidelined a month.

"He was feeling pretty good and then each week it got progressively worse," Shanahan said. "Before the last game, he said it hurt. And when Mark says it's starting to hurt, that's not good. He really felt like he was hurting the team because he wasn't playing at the level he was used to playing."

Shanahan laughed at the thought there were any particles left in Schlereth's knee.

"I know there's no cartilage in there," the coach said. "Probably some bone fragments that chipped off the knee. But he's a warrior and one of the few guys I've been around that can play at that level consistently with as many surgeries as he's had and who still wants to play and contribute."

Shanahan admitted there was a concern that Schlereth might finally have reached the end of the line after so many operations.

"Sure there is," he said. "I don't know how serious it is. He may not be able to come back for two months. He might not be able to come back for the rest of the season. I don't think anybody knows until you go in there and take a look at it.

"Just knowing Mark and what he's done in the past, he's always been able to bounce back and play. I'm hoping that's the case."

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