New Orleans Saints  


With knee '110 percent,' Sharper plans to return next season

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New Orleans Saints safety Darren Sharper missed most of his 14th NFL campaign because of knee and hamstring injuries, but the five-time Pro Bowl player says he's not done playing just yet.

Sharper told The Times-Picayune in a story for Monday's editions that the knee is now "110 percent" and stronger than it was before.

"Oh man, I feel like two different people," Sharper said. "No pain, no swelling. I'm excited about the upcoming season, so I can get back to the level I was at in 2009."

Sharper appeared in eight games last season but started only one, netting 16 total tackles. It was a disappointing campaign after 14 starts in 2009, in which his nine interceptions helped lead the Saints to their first Super Bowl title.

Sharper told the newspaper he isn't overly concerned about the NFL lockout's impact on his career with the Saints or another NFL team.

"It's not stressful at all, because I'm pretty sure I'm going to be playing football next year," Sharper said. "So once everything gets worked out, once football gets back started, that's when I'll start worrying about, 'OK, where am I going to wind up?'

"The Saints know what I am, and other teams know what I am," said Sharper, who has spent time working out in Miami and Southern California, with further workouts planned in Florida.



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