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ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins defensive end Stephen Bowen will undergo surgery next week to repair torn cartilage in his right knee, and there's a possibility he might need microfracture surgery as well.
Regardless, Bowen's season is over thanks to a knee injury first suffered on Oct. 20 against the Chicago Bears, when he tore the posterior cruciate ligament. He hurt his knee again at Philadelphia on Nov. 17 and did not practice leading up to Monday's game versus San Francisco.
Coach Mike Shanahan said doctors think Bowen will need the microfracture procedure. If that's the case, the recovery time will be six months. Shanahan said there's been a lot of fluid around Bowen's knee in recent days.
"It's a blow to your team," Shanahan said. "But everyone will lose players and it's the next guy up. Stephen has meant a lot to our team and he does mean a lot. So it's always hard to lose a guy, not only with his play but his character."
Bowen was not making the hoped-for impact in the pass rush, but he was still solid against the run. He was replaced in the starting lineup Monday night by veteran Kedric Golston, with Chris Baker becoming the third defensive end. Golston is more reliable; Baker is capable of making plays in the backfield but also of being more undisciplined.
Bowen is the first defensive starter lost for the season.