Colts expect Vinatieri for season

Updated: June 5, 2009, 2:56 PM ET
By Paul Kuharsky | ESPN.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- Kicker Adam Vinatieri recently had surgery on his right hip to alleviate a nagging injury, but the Indianapolis Colts anticipate he will be ready for the season, the team announced Friday.

"The condition, which had existed for more than a year, became more bothersome recently," the team said in a statement. "After consultation with our doctors and others, the surgical procedure was deemed the most effective course of action at this time."

Dr. Marc Philippon, who recently operated on New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, performed Vinatieri's surgery in Vail, Colo.

"[Philippon] said [Vinatieri] will be available for the season, so that's what we anticipate and are counting on," coach Jim Caldwell said. "We're following his lead in that regard."

Vinatieri was an All-Pro and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2002 and 2004 while playing with New England.

The Colts don't have another kicker on their roster, but Caldwell said two rookie punters, Pat McAfee and Tim Masthay, may be able to fill in some. It's unclear what the Colts will do if Vinatieri is out for preseason games.

"We do have obviously two young guys that have done it all in terms of kicking off, placekicking and punting, but we anticipate obviously looking at our options at some point in time and moving on from there," Caldwell said.

Paul Kuharsky covers the AFC South for ESPN.com.

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