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Elway Set for Shoulder Surgery

February 19, 1998

DENVER (AP) _ Although John Elway has not officially announced whether he will return for another year with the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, the quarterback will undergo surgery on his right shoulder Monday.

Elway’s agent has told the team that the 37-year-old quarterback will return for his 16th season, but Elway himself has not confirmed that. However, he has said that surgery on his right shoulder would indicate he’ll be back.

He also said that if he elected to have cosmetic surgery on his ruptured right biceps, it would mean he intended to retire; that surgery is not scheduled.

Doctors Richard Hawkins and Ted Schlegel will perform the surgery, a clavicle resection, which is expected to free up his right arm and allow him to throw with less pain.

Elway’s shoulder has bothered him since October, when he was slammed to the ground during a game, and he said he skipped the Pro Bowl because of it.

The surgery, to be performed at Centrum Surgical Plaza in Englewood, is expected to leave Elway in a sling for two days and sideline him for about a month, The Denver Post reported Thursday.

The operation will be the third on Elway’s right shoulder and second in less than a year. He had scar tissue removed from the shoulder last March.

Also scheduled for surgery are defensive ends Alfred Williams and Neil Smith.

On Monday, Williams will have an operation on his right triceps, which he tore at the end of November. He will be sidelined three to four months.

Smith also will undergo surgery on a torn right triceps, which he injured in October. That surgery, which should sideline Smith for three to four months, is scheduled for March 3.

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