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Not again: Fresh off shoulder surgery, Pennington tears ACL

MIAMI -- Hard-luck quarterback Chad Pennington tore an anterior cruciate ligament during a pickup basketball game and will undergo surgery next week.

Pennington's agent, Tom Condon, said in a news release Thursday that Dr. James Andrews will perform the operation on Pennington on April 7. The release didn't say which knee Pennington injured.

The former New York Jets and Miami Dolphins quarterback is now a free agent.

Pennington, 34, twice has been selected the NFL Comeback Player of the Year, but he lasted just two plays last season with the Dolphins before hurting his right shoulder again. He had surgery on it for the fourth time, but he said he wants to try to return to the NFL this season.

A shoulder injury ended Pennington's 2009 season in Week 3. Following arduous rehabilitation, he began 2010 as a backup to Chad Henne, then made his season debut in the ninth game when he started against the Tennessee Titans. But Pennington had to leave the game after just two snaps because of a dislocated shoulder and torn capsule.

Pennington's career completion percentage of 66.0 is the highest in NFL history among quarterbacks with at least 1,500 attempts. In 2008, his one full season with the Dolphins, Pennington led them to their only playoff berth since 2001.

Pennington led the Jets to the playoffs in 2002, 2004 and 2006.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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