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Barrow's Return: June Mini-Camp?

Linebacker Mike Barrow will undergo a workout for trainers prior to the June 17-19 mini-camp to determine if the 12-year veteran can be cleared to practice with the team, head coach Joe Gibbs said on Thursday.

Barrow missed all of the 2004 season with knee tendonitis and has continued to undergo rehabilitation through the offseason.

"What Mike has to do there is go through a process of working out for our trainers and everybody here to make sure that we clear him," Gibbs said. "At that point, he can go into regular team work."

Gibbs said he anticipates Barrow being at "full go" at the June mini-camp.

If healthy, Barrow could be a key component to the Redskins' defense next season. The defense has a void at middle linebacker due to Antonio Pierce's departure to the New York Giants.

The candidates for the middle linebacker job include recently signed Warrick Holdman, Lemar Marshall, Brandon Barnes, rookie draft pick Robert McCune and Clifton Smith, among others.

Barrow is a 12-year NFL vet who has experience playing for Redskins' assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams. Barrow played in Houston from 1993-96 when Williams was a defensive assistant coach with the Oilers. Barrow came to the Redskins after a solid 2003 campaign with the New York Giants in which he led the Giants' defense with 177 tackles (122 solo).

"We didn't get a chance to play Mike last year, but we know a number of things about him. He's very smart--he actually helped us coach some last year. We know mentally what he can do. Physically, it's just a matter of getting him out there.

"Obviously he has a tremendous history--two years ago he led the NFL in tackles. We feel real good about him. We're just hoping that he gets healthy. It looks like he's made great progress and now the only thing doctors and trainers are worried about is the muscle mass and getting back the strength."

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