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Daniels Plans Return, Ready to 'Rehab Hard'

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Phillip Daniels is not giving up.

One day after suffering a devastating knee ligament injury that has sidelined him for the 2008 season, Daniels said he wants to return to play again.

"I am not going anywhere," he told reporters on Monday afternoon at Redskins Park. "I am not going to be done. I am still going to play. I am going to rehab hard and come back."

Daniels will have surgery to repair the knee ligament on Friday.

Daniels will be 36 years old next season, leading to some speculation that he would consider retirement from a game played by 20-somethings.

Not so fast, Daniels said.

He said several times last offseason that he was a 35-year-old in a 25-year-old body.

"Hopefully I get another opportunity to finish my career on a high note and not end it this way," he said. "That is the one thing I thought about. Do I want my career to end this way? I really don't.

"But if it does end this way, I have had a great career and I have done a lot of good things."

Daniels was entering his 13th NFL season and fifth with the Redskins. He has played in 171 career games, with 151 starts, and recorded 59 sacks.

More importantly, Daniels was a leader in the locker room and an eloquent speaker in media settings.

He will be missed.

"The support from my teammates has meant a lot," Daniels said. "My teammates are my second family. I have been around these guys most of my life in sports.

"Demetric Evans said it best: when I wasn't there to lead the drills, it really set in. [Defensive coordinator] Greg Blache said he doesn't usually cry, but he said he shed some tears yesterday. And I cried so much earlier that I couldn't cry anymore.

"It was one of those things where I am glad my teammates supported. I appreciated all the concern and prayers."

In turn, Daniels gave his full support to the Redskins' decision to trade for Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Taylor on Sunday night.

"It was great to hear that he was coming here and helping us out," Daniels said. "He is a great pass rusher and he was the NFL Player of the Year in 2006. For him to be sitting out there was perfect, really.

"If I had to have anybody come take my place, I would want a guy like him who is proven and has done some great things in this league. He can get us to the Super Bowl.

"I told the guys, 'Don't feel sorry for me. The one thing you can do for me is get us to the Super Bowl and win it. Then I will be happy."


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