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Pats' Harrison vows return in 2006 after knee injury

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison tries to ignore the possibility that his career might be
over, and is determined to return from a season-ending knee injury.

"I cannot honestly say what's going to happen next year and
what the future holds for me in terms of football," Harrison said
Friday. "But I'm going to work my tail off to get back on the
field."
Harrison tore his anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral
ligament and posterior cruciate ligament during New England's 23-20
win over Pittsburgh last month. The Patriots placed him on injured
reserve, ending his season.
Harrison expects to undergo surgery in about a month, once the
swelling in his knee subsides. Meanwhile, the 32-year-old safety is
responding well to treatment and therapy.
Harrison said he has always recovered from injuries faster than
expected.
"Now, as far as a timetable, do I know? No, I've never been
injured like this before," he said.
Harrison has started every game since signing a free agent
contract with New England in 2003 after nine years with the San
Diego Chargers. He was the Patriots' leading tackler the last two
seasons and is the NFL's career leader in sacks by a defensive
back.
A rash of injuries has left the New England secondary in a
"state of flux," and "hanging on by a really thin thread," but
Harrison said he expects steady improvement as younger players get
experience.
"Once the secondary jells and they gain some confidence, I
think we should be just fine," he said.
Harrison is adjusting to his new role as a sideline mentor and
observer. But he was home during last Sunday's game in Atlanta and
found himself yelling so loudly at the television that his young
son started to cry.
"It's tough," Harrison said. "You wish you could go out there
and do something. ... It really, really makes you appreciate the
game when you're not around it."