Thompson out for season

12-11-02, 2:20 p.m.

BY GEOFF HOBSON

Bengals rookie free safety Lamont Thompson is out for the season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery Wednesday morning to repair torn cartilage in his right knee.

Trainer Paul Sparling expects Thompson to be "full go," for his off-season workouts in six weeks. The Bengals think it's an old injury because Sparling said Thompson told him he had some knee soreness in college.

"In the long-term scheme of things, this isn't anything major,"

Sparling said. "He should be fine once he recovers from the surgery and starts working out."

Thompson, a second-round pick from Washington State drafted for his ability to make interceptions, never worked his way into the starting lineup the way the Bengals had hoped. He played mainly on passing downs and finished the season with an interception and 12 tackles.

There is no word yet how the Bengals will replace Thompson if they put him on injured reserve.

Quarterback Jon Kitna wasn't sure he could practice with a sore throwing shoulder Wednesday, but ended up going. Sparling said it is fine and he expects him to practice and play after he fell on it Sunday in Carolina.

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