Under normal circumstances, a player having surgery to repair a fractured fibula wouldn't be considered particularly newsworthy. But in Mark Dixon's case, it was very significant.<P>The surgery basically means that Dixon is planning on coming back next season from the injury that landed him on injured reserve.<P>

When Dixon spoke to reporters last week, days after suffering a break and ligament damage in his right ankle, he said he had had discussions with his wife about retiring and wasn't sure he wanted to go through with his ninth operation.

Dixon had talked about the strain on his family his injury problems through the years had caused and of the possibility of walking away from the game and pursuing his goal of becoming a high school basketball coach (FYI: word is Dixon might be the best basketball player on the Dolphins).

So the news that Dixon, who is signed through 2002, had the operation has to be considered good news by Dolphins fans considering he probably is the team's best offensive lineman.

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