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Tom Brady's Foot Injury Only Adds to His 2010 Season Mystique

Jan 21, 2011 – 1:10 PM
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Andy Kent

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Very few people have questioned the toughness of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, but he took that reputation to another level at the end of the 2010 season and into the playoffs after it was revealed that he was playing on a severely injured right foot.

Brady confirmed to the Boston media on Thursday that he had undergone a surgical procedure to repair a stress fracture, one that required a screw to be inserted into the navicular bone of his right arch. What he didn't reveal was how long he played through the pain, and a medical expert told Tim Graham of ESPN.com just how difficult that had to be after getting all the details of the injury and the surgery.

"The concern with a stress fracture in that navicular bone is a lot of stress with weight transfer," Stephania Bell said. "That's Brady's plant foot, so it really does make his season that much more impressive. Every time he has to plant and throw, you're transferring weight through that foot, transferring weight through a fracture. There's no doubt he was playing through pain. Yet he still was remarkably effective."

New England first listed Brady on the injury report for his foot on Nov. 10, which meant that he played the last eight regular-season games and last week's divisional playoff game against the New York Jets with that discomfort. That would explain his lack of mobility in the pocket, especially last week when he was sacked five times, but the fact that he still put together one of the most statistically efficient seasons ever (36 touchdown passe to just four interceptions) goes beyond words.

Another medical analyst for ESPN, Dr. Michael Kaplan, confirmed that Brady should anticipate a lengthy recovery process but one that should not prevent him from being ready for training camp in July. Initially, he won't be able to bear any weight on the foot and will be advised to stay off it for at least six weeks. That is why he rushed the surgery, so that he wouldn't have to miss any practice time.
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