Saints veteran CB McKenzie fractures kneecap vs. Falcons

Updated: November 10, 2008, 6:43 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

ATLANTA -- New Orleans cornerback Mike McKenzie suffered a fractured right kneecap on Sunday, forcing him to contemplate another long rehabilitation less than one year after having reconstructive surgery on the same knee.

McKenzie was carted off the field Sunday after suffering the injury while defending a third-down pass to Michael Jenkins.

"I hope I get credit for that [tackle]," McKenzie said, forcing a smile while leaning on crutches after the game.

McKenzie said he would return to Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham after the swelling goes down in his knee. Andrews performed the surgery to repair the torn right anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus after McKenzie was hurt in the Saints' 15th game against Philadelphia.

McKenzie, a 10-year veteran, said he was told this rehab could take three to six months.

"It's real disappointing," said Saints coach Sean Payton. "His [last] rehab process was very long and tedious. I'm disappointed for him and I'm sure the rest of his teammates feel the same way. ... Certainly, it's a blow to our defense. We've just got to get him healthy and get him fixed."

When asked if the second serious injury to his knee in less than a year could end his career, McKenzie said "I haven't gotten that far. ... I seriously doubt that."

Payton said Monday that McKenzie will have surgery this week and be placed on injured reserve.

Later in the day, the Saints claimed recently released Washington cornerback Leigh Torrence off of waivers, giving him McKenzie's roster spot.

Torrence, who is 5-foot-11, 179 pounds, is now in his third NFL season. Waived by the Redskins on Saturday, Torrence has played in 35 career regular season games, starting once.

Torrence played in Washington's first nine games, making nine tackles as a reserve defensive back along with 11 tackles on special teams.

The 32-year-old McKenzie said he suffered the injury when his knee hit the turf.

"It would be a little easier to take if I got rolled up on," he said. "This is the second time it just got caused by the turf.

"That turf was pretty tough today. ... As soon as my knee hit directly on that turf, I felt it break."

McKenzie missed the season opener while still recovering from in the Saints' 15th game against Philadelphia last season. He played in seven games, including six starts, and entered Sunday's game with 23 tackles and one interception. He has 27 career interceptions.

The Saints have now lost two starting cornerbacks this season. Rookie Tracy Porter was placed on injured reserve after dislocating his wrist during a Week 5 loss to Minnesota.

Meanwhile, reserve cornerback Aaron Glenn reaggravated a left ankle injury in Atlanta. Payton said it was not yet clear how long Glenn might be out, but noted before the addition of Torrence that the only other healthy cornerbacks on the roster were Randall Gay, Jason David and Usama Young.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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