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Andre Johnson has knee scoped


Andre Johnson watches Monday's OTA from the sideline while nursing his injured left knee.

The knee injury that sidelined wide receiver Andre Johnson for the majority of the 2007 season has crept up again.

Coach Gary Kubiak announced Monday after the Texans' first OTA workout that Johnson underwent arthroscopic knee surgery after last weekend's mini-camp, and the fifth-year veteran will miss the remainder of the team's offseason workouts.

"We went back and forth with the knee throughout the offseason," Kubiak said. "It wasn't feeling the way (Andre) wanted it to feel. So we tried to do some things, some rest and those types of things, to get it better.

"He wasn't really comfortable coming out of (mini-)camp, so we said, 'Hey, let's go scope it and see if there are any issues. We want you to feel comfortable.' Everything was fine. They cleaned it up. Now he feels good about it. He's not going to be hurt by missing some of these reps, so we'll just get him back to 100 percent and get him ready to go."

The good news is that Johnson should be ready for training camp at the end of July.

"Yeah, he should be fine for training camp," Kubiak said. "You all see him out here walking around today. Actually, it's peace of mind for all of us, to be honest for you."

Johnson was upbeat about the prognosis of his knee.

"Yes, it's a concern, but at the same time, injuries happen," he said. "You just have to do what you have to do to make those injuries better."

With a sleeve covering his left knee, Johnson explained that his injury is tough to detect just by looking at it, but he could feel the pain while running.

"It bothered me on the inside of my knee," he said. "It was just something that got real aggravating.

"The knee didn't swell up or anything. It has a little bit of swelling, but nothing major. If you looked at my knee, you wouldn't really even be able to tell anything is wrong with it. Other than that, I am feeling fine, just rehabbing every day, doing what I need to do to get back on the field."

{QUOTE}Johnson initially injured his knee in the Texans' Week 2 win at the Carolina Panthers. He returned for Week 10 against the New Orleans Saints, finishing with a team-high six catches for 120 yards and a 73-yard touchdown in the 23-10 win. For the season, Johnson finished third on the team with 60 catches for 851 yards (14.2 avg.) along with a team-high eight touchdown grabs.

Although he appeared in top form late last season, Johnson indicated otherwise on Monday.

"(My knee) did start bothering me at a certain point after I came back," he said. "But during the week, during practice, I really wasn't practicing much. I pretty much was just taking reps here and there, resting and then getting ready for the game on Sunday. I came back out during offseason workouts and it kind of flared up on me again. So we just took it from there."

This isn't the first time that Johnson has had arthroscopic surgery.

"I've had it done to my shoulder when I was in college and I came right back and didn't miss a beat," he said. "So I'm just doing what I need to do to get myself ready.

"We don't play any games any time soon...I mean, I've been through this (OTAs) before. This isn't my first time through this, so I know what to expect."

Garnering reps in Johnson's place is second-year wide receiver Jacoby Jones, who looked sure-handed during team drills on Monday.

Jones also suffered an injury setback last season when he was tackled on a punt return versus Indianapolis in Week 3 and missed two games. A star in the 2007 preseason, the third-round draft pick from Lane College finished the regular season with 15 catches for 149 yards (9.9 avg.) on offense.

"You've heard me say before, if guys are going to be great players, they usually make a big step from year one to two, so it's nice to watch what (Jacoby) is doing right now, because he's starting to make a lot of plays," Kubiak said. "The fact that Andre won't be working during the OTAs is going to open up the door for a guy like him to get a lot more reps, so hopefully he makes a lot of improvement."

Johnson also is encouraged by Jones, not to mention other players building on their performance from last year. The two-time Pro Bowler refuses to be discouraged by his injury.

"We showed what we can do when we're a healthy team," Johnson said. "Unfortunately, we had injuries last year. It's not an excuse. Those things happen. We just have to have other guys step up. We had some guys do that. We know what type of team we have. As long as we go out and do what we need to do, we should be fine (this season)."

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