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London Fletcher preps for Washington Redskins return

Don't bury London Fletcher yet -- the 37-year-old is still kicking.

The Washington Redskins linebacker, who had surgery on his bothersome left ankle Wednesday morning, said he's making preparations to play in 2013. Fletcher also plans to have elbow surgery later this month in an effort to make sure he's ready for his 16th NFL season.

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"Surgery is the first step towards prepping for next season," Fletcher told CBS DC's David Elfin.

If Fletcher does return, it would be a huge relief for the Redskins, who aren't in a position to replace the Pro Bowl linebacker due to salary-cap restrictions and a lack of high picks in the 2013 NFL Draft. Coach Mike Shanahan recently doubted that Fletcher would return.

Fletcher led the team with 139 tackles in 2012 and added five interceptions and three sacks. He runs the Redskins' defense.

The Redskins will need to replace the middle linebacker soon, but he will be grateful if they can wait it out another season. This becomes a yearly question with Fletcher getting long in the tooth.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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