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Culpepper gets OK to practice

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins quarterback Daunte Culpepper is ready to take the next step in his recovery from a major knee injury.

Culpepper has received medical clearance to practice when the team opens training camp Saturday, coach Nick Saban said Wednesday. That means Culpepper will be in pads for the first time since tearing three ligaments last October while playing for Minnesota.

"Daunte will do the same thing in this camp as every other player relative to the workload he is able to manage," Saban said "We'll try to manage with him as we go through this. We don't hit the quarterback anyway (in practice), so contact is not an issue."

Saban wouldn't say whether he believes Culpepper will be ready for the Sept. 7 regular-season opener at Pittsburgh or how much he will play during exhibition games. The Dolphins begin their exhibition schedule Aug. 12 against visiting Jacksonville.

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Saban said he might not announce whether Culpepper will play against the Jaguars until the day before the game.

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