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Saints' Meachem expected back by training camp after toe surgery

METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints wide receiver Robert Meachem will miss the remainder of voluntary off-season workouts because of recent toe surgery but is expected to be practicing by training camp in late July.

"His surgery last week went well," coach Sean Payton said Tuesday. "It will set him back until the start of training camp, but he should be fine as we get started that first week here at camp."

The injury to the second toe on Meachem's left foot occurred last season, but did not keep the former first-round draft choice from Tennessee off the field. Meachem wound up leading the club in touchdowns with 10 -- nine receiving and one on a memorable return after he stripped the ball from Washington defensive back Kareem Moore, who only moments earlier had intercepted Drew Brees.

Meachem's touchdown helped set the stage for a memorable 33-30 comeback overtime victory that lifted New Orleans to 12-0, and the Saints started 13-0 en route to the first Super Bowl win in franchise history.

The Saints hoped offseason rest would be all Meachem needed, but the toe continued to bother him during recent offseason workouts, so the Saints decided it would be best to schedule surgery, Payton said.

Meanwhile, the Saints have signed Auburn receiver Montez Billings and Kentucky linebacker Sam Maxwell. The pair had been invited to last weekend's rookie camp on a tryout basis.

To make room on the roster, the Saints waived UNLV linebacker Jason Beauchamp and Norfolk State wide receiver Chris Bell, who were signed as rookie free agents shortly after the draft.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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