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Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Brian Price healing slowly from surgery that cut short rookie season

Defensive tackle Brian Price is limited to lifting weights as he recovers from pelvis fractures and a torn hamstring.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Defensive tackle Brian Price is limited to lifting weights as he recovers from pelvis fractures and a torn hamstring.

BRADENTON — This is not the way Bucs DT Brian Price wanted to distinguish himself in the NFL.

Price, the first of two second-round picks a year ago, is recovering from a rare surgery to repair fractures in his pelvis and a torn hamstring.

He played five games last season before going on injured reserve and said he has no timetable for when he might return.

"I feel pretty good right now, but if I push it too hard, my back starts hurting and I feel like an old man," he said. "I'm not ready. I'm not trying to hurt myself again."

Price said doctors placed two screws in each ischium of tuberosity, commonly known as the sitting bones where the hamstrings connect.

He said the injury might date to his career at UCLA. He had six tackles for the Bucs before going on injured reserve.

"I was in a lot of pain. A couple days before the game it would swell up and I could barely walk," Price said. "I would just chill out and then I could play, but I wasn't playing like myself. It was really hard."

Further complicating matters for Price is the lockout, which has prevented him from meeting with team doctors and rehabbing with Bucs trainer Todd Toriscelli. "It hurt me in that way, not being at the facility, talking to the doctor every day or being with a trainer like Todd," Price said.

Listed at 6 feet 1, 303 pounds, Price appears to have gained weight because of his lack of physical activity. He is attending the team's unofficial three-day minicamp at the IMG Academies but has been limited to lifting weights. He said he's eager to show teammates how he's capable of playing this season.

"They had a little glimpse of it, but I don't know what I can really do," he said. "I'll probably surprise myself being healthy."

T-JACK RETURNS, SORT OF: Former Bucs S Tanard Jackson, suspended indefinitely for repeated violations of the league's substance-abuse policy, worked out at the minicamp.

Jackson, suspended after playing two regular-season games in 2010, is not eligible to apply for reinstatement until mid September. He said he is eager to rejoin the Bucs, but the team has made no predictions.

"I've been trying to stay in shape. Doing what I can do, not much I can do with this lockout and being in the situation I was in," he said.

Jackson, 25, said because of the terms of his suspension, he had been unable to communicate with players and coaches until the work stoppage.

"This is my first time seeing and talking to the players since September of last year," he said.

How eager is Jackson to return to the NFL?

"Oh, man, it's a major part of my life, and this was a great feeling to be back out here with the team," he said. "That's the most important thing for me right now is to get back out here."

EXTRA POINTS: Players worked for about an extra 40 minutes after the morning workout and canceled the afternoon session. … DE Kyle Moore joined the team for workouts Wednesday. Former Bucs TE Alex Smith also worked out.

Around the league

MILLER PRAISES UNION: Former baseball union chief Marvin Miller said NFL players have strong leadership in their labor negotiations, calling NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith "a bright man with his head in the right direction."

OWENS ACCUSED: The mother of WR Terrell Owens' child says he has refused to pay the full $5,000 a month in child support he owes. Melanie Paige Smith is seeking to hold the player in contempt.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Brian Price healing slowly from surgery that cut short rookie season 06/29/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 9:57pm]
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