WASHINGTON (AP) _ Toro Co. is recalling 78,000 Lawn-Boy power mowers because the lower blade can break off and possibly injure the operator, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The mowers have a mulching fan that sits on top of the blade. Because there is nothing to hold the fan and blade together, the fan creates vibrations that can cause the lower blade to crack and break off, the commission said.

Toro, based in Bloomington, Minn., has received one report of a consumer who was struck on the ankle by a piece of a broken blade while operating the mower. The consumer suffered a bruised tendon.

The Lawn-Boy Silver Series, Four Cycle, walk-behind, 21-inch power mowers were sold at Lawn-Boy dealers and retail outlets, including Sear's, Lowe's and the Home Depot. The mowers were sold from January 1997 through November 1998 for $280 to $400.

The recall includes: power mowers with model numbers 10200, 10202, 10212, 10236, 10302, 10307 and serial numbers ranging from 7900001-7999999; power mowers with model numbers 10313, 10321 and serial numbers ranging from 7900001-8999999; and powers mowers with the model number 10249 and serial numbers ranging from 8900001-8999999.

Consumers should stop using the recalled mowers immediately. The company is mailing consumers free repair kits. Consumers who sent in their registration card will automatically receive a kit. They can have the repair performed for free at a local Lawn-Boy service dealer after receiving the kit.

To contact the nearest Lawn-Boy service dealer, consumers should call Lawn-Boy at 1-800-444-8676 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. EST Monday through Friday.