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Peterson thinks he'll still cash in

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- All-Pro linebacker Julian Peterson
had surgery to repair his torn left Achilles' tendon Tuesday,
ending his season with the San Francisco 49ers.

Backup fullback Jasen Isom also had surgery for the same injury.

"Julian and Jasen each had surgery on their Achilles this
morning and both went well," team physician Dr. Michael Dillingham
said. "Each of them will be in a cast for six-to-eight weeks. We
will begin the rehab process when the casts are removed."

Whether the injury also ended his career in San Francisco is
uncertain. As he left the 49ers' training complex on crutches
Monday, Peterson claimed he doesn't regret rejecting a $15 million
signing bonus and a lucrative long-term contract from the club last
summer.

What's more, Peterson still believes he'll command top dollar
next season.

"I've made a lot of money," said Peterson, who sat out
training camp before signing a one-year tender offer worth about
$6.1 million. "I've already been blessed. I could have been making
$10 an hour in some 9-to-5 job. If this team doesn't want to pay
me, somebody else will."

Peterson's usual ebullience was dampened by the inevitable news
of his upcoming surgery. The injury requires a lengthy
rehabilitation period that can't be hurried, even by the
linebacker's strong work ethic.

The two-time Pro Bowl player turned down a six-year, $37.8
million offer and staged a lengthy holdout in a futile attempt to
become the NFL's highest-paid defensive player. Still, he had 2½
sacks in the 49ers' first four games despite reporting to the club
just two weeks before the season opened.

"Julian was having an outstanding year," coach Dennis Erickson
said. "His play and his leadership qualities will definitely be
missed."

Peterson will be placed on injured reserve this week, Erickson
said.

Peterson also apologized to Arizona's L.J. Shelton after
erroneously blaming the offensive tackle for causing his injury
with a low block. After watching film, Peterson realized he wasn't
even touched when his tendon broke.

"It was just the way I landed on the heel," Peterson said.
"When all the surgery is said and done, I'll come back stronger
than I was before."

Peterson's injury is another obstacle for the 49ers' beleaguered
defense, which has allowed an NFL-worst 137 points. Cornerback Mike Rumph probably will miss the rest of the season with a broken arm,
while a dozen more contributors also have significant injuries.

Jamie Winborn, who will replace Peterson in several defensive
sets, missed major parts of the last two seasons with injuries to
his knee and neck, but now is one of the 49ers' few healthy
defenders.

"Now I get a chance to help some of my teammates out,"
Peterson said Monday before climbing into Winborn's Mercedes.
"This is my cheerleading time. Jamie had two years of this, so he
said, 'If you need any pointers, I've got you."