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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Jermaine Phillips' injury more than routine broken thumb



Many readers asked during the past couple of days why S Jermaine Phillips' broken thumb was considered such a severe injury that he was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. It's common for players to miss a limited amount of time or even play after suffering such injuries.

But the Bucs cleared things up today by detailing the severity of Phillips' injury. One person associated with the team described his thumb as "mangled." Coach Raheem Morris said it was going to be a very difficult repair as doctors on Wednesday set out to essentially rebuild the joint.

"That injury is more severe than we originally thought," Morris said. "He has a significant fracture that's going to require a complex surgery to his thumb. That's, for me, tough. For him, that's tough. He's getting the surgery today. He called me today and told me whatever I needed him to do for the team, in whatever fashion, he's more than willing. He'll be missed."

The harsh reality of the situation is that Phillips is very possibly done playing for the Bucs. He would be 31 when the 2010 season begins, but he's a free agent after this season anyway. It remains to be seen whether the Bucs -- or any other club -- is willing to commit much of anything to a player who has proven unreliable as it relates to staying healthy. He has been an above-average safety the past couple of seasons, but that's probably not enough to offset the injury concerns.

Under any circumstances, it appears he faces a long road back.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:42pm]


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