Nicks has nerve damage, pain in foot but hopes to return
Carl Nicks says he has pain and nerve damage in his left foot, something he will probably have to suffer with the rest of the life.
After signing a 5-year, 47.5-million contract two years ago, Nicks has only played in nine games with the Bucs. Foot surgery, followed by another operation due to a recurrence if MRSA, has left him still unable to participate in the team's first minicamp this week under coach Lovie Smith.
Now Nicks suffers from a new malady -- he can't stop itching to play.
"I got the chicken pox when it comes to that,'' Nicks said. "I've been scratching a long time. Now I'm itching. I don't want to force it, I don't want to rush it. When I come back, I want to play a lot more than two games.''
Nicks says he has been limited to light jogging and typical rehab drills. He said his goal is to be ready for the start of training camp. And Nicks admitted he may never be 100 percent.
"Lovie told me the other day my 80 percent is still pretty good,'' Nicks said. "If I'm not 100 percent, hopefully I can hit 99 percent, or 99.9. I'd be happy with that.
"I don't know about percentage. I've never been that guy. But obviously, I'm not ready to practice right now. But I feel comfortable saying I'll be back for training camp. That's the plan. Me personally I think I can, so we'll see.''
Nicks says he still has trouble with pushing off on his left foot and has a good deal of pain due to nerve damage. He's says it's not clear which surgery caused the nerve problems.
"My big thing is range of motion and flexibility and being able to push off it. I can still squat and lunge, do all those things. It's just the quick stuff, the power cleans, the quick agility stuff, pushing off and getting banged back. Those kinds of things I still struggle with.
"There's some nerve damage, so there's going to be pain, from what I'm told, for the rest of my life."