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Batch may be ready for opening day

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Batch may be ready for opening day

Batch may be ready for opening day

June 09, 2000

DETROIT -- With quarterback Charlie Batch to undergo surgery to repair a fractured bone in his knee, the Detroit Lions have begun scouting for a backup.

Batch, injured during a workout Monday, has a displaced fracture, requiring surgery and a screw to hold the bone in place. That diagnosis was affirmed by a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews of Birmingham, Ala., who is to perform the surgery early next week, Lions spokesman Steve Reaven said Friday.

The Lions expect Batch to miss about three months, although the quarterback has said he may be able to play in Detroit's season-opener Sept. 3.

"The way I look at it, this is only June," Batch said. "For all the things that have happened to me that are negative, this is a positive that it's only June. If it was September, I'd definitely be upset."

Reaven said surgeons "will know more after they see inside the knee."

"It's really too early for anyone to tell when he'll be 100 percent and be ready for service," he said. "We're fully expecting a healthy return after the recovery process."

Until then, Mike Tomczak, signed as a free agent in March to be Batch's backup, -- will be the likely starter. Coach Bobby Ross hopes to sign another quarterback by Monday.

Batch, 25, is entering his third season with Detroit. The Lions, Batch and agent Tom Condon are negotiating an extension to his four-year contract that would raise his salary far above the NFL-minimum $358,000 he would otherwise earn this year.

Batch missed eight starts in his first two seasons because of a compression fracture in his lower back in 1998, a broken bone in his right thumb last year.

The Lions worked out 27-year-old Stoney Case, who replaced former Lion Scott Mitchell as the starter in Baltimore after two games of the 1999 season.

In four starts with the Ravens last season, Case completed 77 of 170 passes for 988 yards, with three touchdowns and eight interceptions before his ineffectiveness prompted his being replaced by Tony Banks.

The Lions also are looking at former Lion Rodney Peete. Peete, 34, played for the Lions for five seasons, then one season for Dallas, four for Philadelphia and last season for Washington.

The Lions had considered Randall Cunningham, who ultimately signed with Dallas after reportedly telling Detroit he was not interested in playing for the Lions.

Image courtesy of Picturesnow.com

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