ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A federal judge has sided with NFL players and granted their request for a preliminary injunction to lift the lockout.

CBS News Chief Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen Chats On The KNX Newsline

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson issued her ruling late Monday.

The ruling gives the players an early victory in their fight with NFL owners over a new collective bargaining agreement in the $9 billion business.

Owners imposed the lockout after talks broke down on March 11 and the players disbanded their union.

The players say the lockout is causing irreparable harm to their careers. A group of players filed the injunction request along with an antitrust lawsuit against the league.

The owners argued it was their right to institute the lockout.

They are expected to appeal Nelson’s ruling.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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