Browns rookie RB Monterio Hardesty injures knee

Cleveland Browns rookie running back Montario Hardesty left his exhibition debut with an injured left knee.

Hardesty, who missed all of training camp with a bone bruise in his right knee, was hurt on a short carry in the second quarter Thursday night against the Bears.

He stayed on the ground for several minutes before walking to the sideline with only minimal help. The team’s medical staff examined him on a trainer’s table before taking him to the locker room.

The team said his return was questionable.

Hardesty ran seven times for 25 yards and had a one-yard touchdown before leaving. He showed nice power on several inside runs and powered his way into the end zone to tie it 7-7 in the first quarter.

The Browns are counting on Hardesty to have an impact in his first season. The team traded three draft picks to move up and take him in the second round after he ran for 1,345 yards last season at Tennessee. However, his college career was slowed by knee injuries, and he already was forced to miss most of training camp with injuries as well.

He had a major operation on his right knee in 2005 and is hoping to avoid the same fate after this incident.