Browns Linebacker Has Knee Surgery

BEREA, Ohio (AP) - Cleveland Browns linebacker Earl Holmes had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, but is expected to be ready for the start of training camp next month.

Holmes, who has problems with both knees, had surgery on Tuesday at the Cleveland Clinic. He signed a five-year contract as a free agent with the Browns in April after leading Pittsburgh in tackles each of the past three seasons.

Holmes sat out the AFC championship game against New England in January after injuring his left knee during the playoff game against Baltimore when a teammate jumped on him to celebrate a fumble recovery.

Tests conducted at the time showed no ligament or cartilage damage.

Browns coach Butch Davis said Holmes did not have any problems with his right knee during the team's recent mini-camp but recently had some minor irritation.

The Browns, whose first full-squad workout is July 26, are counting on Holmes to improve their rush defense, which was the AFC's worst last season.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)