Browns place Bentley on PUP list

BEREA, Ohio -- Browns center LeCharles Bentley's comeback will have to wait at least another six weeks.

Cleveland placed Bentley on the physically unable to perform list Tuesday to give his surgically repaired knee more time to heal.

Bentley, 27, has said he hasn't given up on playing this season and had hoped to begin practicing with the team by the end of August. He has yet to practice this year.

By placing Bentley on the PUP list, Bentley will be permitted to attend team meetings and continue his rehabilitation at the team's facility. After six weeks, the Browns have three weeks to allow Bentley to begin practicing.

If Bentley begins practicing, the Browns have three weeks to make a decision on his roster status - they can add him to the 53-man roster, place him on injured reserve or leave him on the PUP list for the rest of the season.

Bentley, a two-time Pro Bowler with New Orleans, signed a six-year, $36 million contract in March 2006 to join his hometown team, then tore his left patellar tendon on the first full-contact play of Cleveland's training camp last summer.

Following surgery to repair the tendon, a staph infection attacked the knee and he needed three more surgeries. Bentley has said that doctors considered amputating his leg at one point.

He was cleared to return to the playing field in July by Russell Warren, the New York Giants' team doctor who performed two of Bentley's operations.

The Browns gave Bentley an MRI when he reported for training camp and decided he should continue his personal rehab for another four weeks. He's been working out away from the Browns' facilities but attending meetings.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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