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Jermichael Finley to have surgery, wants to play again

Jermichael Finley's agent said the TE will have spinal fusion surgery to help him resume his NFL career.

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Jermichael Finley's season is over, but the Green Bay Packers' tight end doesn't want his career to be. With the goal of playing in the NFL again, Finley will undergo spinal fusion surgery to try to help him achieve that.


However, in a statement released to media outlets Wednesday, Finley's agent, Blake Baratz, wanted to make it clear that the surgery was not a requirement.


"We have collectively determined that while surgery may not be 100% necessary, it is a proactive measure that should alleviate future risks with regards to a similar episode or re-injury," Baratz wrote.


Finley, who suffered a bruised spinal cord after a hit Oct. 20 left him motionless in the middle of Lambeau Field, was placed on injured reserve Nov. 5 and is a free agent after this season.


Here is the entirety of Baratz's statement that explained his client's decision for surgery:


"We have spent countless hours over the past few weeks meeting with the top spine specialists, neurologists, and neurosurgeons throughout the country to gather information and opinions regarding Jermichael Finley's spinal-cord injury. Since (former Packers tight end) Mr. (Mark) Chmura decided to speak out publicly and inaccurately regarding this situation, we felt that it would be best to clarify the facts on Jermichael's behalf. First and foremost, Jermichael's long-term health is our primary concern.  While his return to professional football is a hot topic of conversation, his ability to live a long and fulfilling life with his loved ones is by far and away our main objective.


"Regarding Jermichael's specific injury, it is important to note that expert opinions differ across the board, from surgical procedures to rehabilitation methods to returning to contact sports. Working alongside the Packers organization, we have discussed and analyzed all of these opinions, as well as all of the potential scenarios moving forward. We have collectively determined that while surgery may not be 100% necessary, it is a proactive measure that should alleviate future risks with regards to a similar episode or re-injury.


"Jermichael has elected to undergo a spinal fusion with Dr. Joseph Maroon, the Pittsburgh Steelers team Neurosurgeon. Dr. Maroon is experienced in conducting this type of procedure on professional athletes in contact sports, and is confident that Jermichael will fully recover following the procedure.


"Once surgery has been completed, Jermichael has every intention of resuming his football career, and we fully support his efforts to do so.


"Jermichael and his family appreciate all of the love and support they have received, and simply ask that we all respect their privacy during his recovery process.  Jermichael promises to keep everyone updated over the coming days, weeks, and months."


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