Bradley Handwerger / Sports Reporter
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METAIRIE, La. Starting linebacker Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne were among 11 players who either didn't participate in or weren't at practice for the New Orleans Saints on Monday.

Lofton and Hawthorne weren't at practice with a high ankle sprain and torn meniscus , respectively, injuries that occurred during Friday night's preseason loss to Jacksonville. Hawthorne will miss several weeks while acting head coach Joe Vitt seemed confident in Lofton's return by the Sept. 9 season-opener.

Hawthorne will have to have surgery, Vitt said, but the coach wouldn't rule out the linebacker's return by Sept. 9.

Receivers Andy Tanner (ankle) and Adrian Arrington (right knee), defensive linemen Turk McBride (ankle) and Tom Johnson (right ankle) and cornerback Kamaal McIlwain (groin) also were not at practice. Vitt said McBride was beginning his return with conditioning while Johnson is out at least another two weeks.

Meanwhile, running backs Mark Ingram (knee) and Darren Sproles (knee) along with cornerback Jabari Greer (sports hernia) were with the team but didn't participate.

Receiver Nick Toon, who has missed six practices and two weeks of camp with a foot injury, returned to conditioning on Monday. Vitt said Toon likely won't be available for Saturday's game against Houston, but could be back for the preseason finale against Tennessee.

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