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Chad Pennington tears ACL while playing basketball

Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington has the leadership. He has the accuracy. He has the mind-set. If only he didn’t have the injuries.

Miami’s fan favorite, who was in the process of rehabilitating his shoulder for the fourth time, has suffered yet another setback. This time, Pennington tore his anterior cruciate ligament during a pickup basketball game.

Pennington’s representatives from CAA released a statement Thursday, announcing that Pennington would undergo surgery April 7. Dr. James Andrews, who has performed all of the quarterback’s shoulder surgeries, also will repair his knee.

An important factor to keep in mind: Pennington is a free agent. Even before the latest injury, the Dolphins weren’t likely to bring him back next season, so the injury doesn’t have an immediate impact on their plans at quarterback.

With a recovery time of six to eight months, Pennington’s future is now even more questionable than before.

Although he had committed to making another return despite his 2010 shoulder injury, his status for 2011 was still in jeopardy.