08/08/2001 11:00PM

Shane Sellers nearing return

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HENDERSON, Ky. - Veteran jockey Shane Sellers, away since December with a serious knee injury, is hoping to return to action as soon as Sept. 1 and has been exercising horses at Churchill Downs on a daily basis.

Sellers, a perennial leading rider in Kentucky and elsewhere, underwent surgery to repair a severely torn anterior cruciate ligament several weeks after the accident, suffered at the Fair Grounds Dec. 9.

Following extensive rehabilitation, Sellers was cleared by his physician last month to embark on a comeback. He has been working at Churchill for his longtime friend and client, Frank Brothers, who is hoping to give Sellers the mount on one of his 2-year-old fillies in the $100,000 Bassinet Stakes at River Downs Sept. 1.

Sellers, 34, is scheduled to make two singing appearances Ellis Park on Saturday, the biggest day of the Ellis meet. Sellers gained a measure of national renown this year by recording a hit country single, "Matthew, Mark, Luke & Earnhardt," a tribute to the late auto-racing superstar, Dale Earnhardt.