Injured Packers TE Finley plans to have surgery

Packers tight end Jermichael Finley plans to have spinal fusion

surgery and intends to play football again.

Finley’s agent, Blake Baratz, said Thursday that Finley has been

working with the Packers organization in determining what’s best

after suffering a neck injury last month in a game against the

Browns.

Baratz said it was collectively determined that surgery may not

be 100 percent necessary, but is a ”proactive measure that should

alleviate future risks with regards to a similar episode or

re-injury.”

The statement said Finley’s long-term health is the primary

concern, and that Finley intends to resume playing again after

surgery to be performed by the Pittsburgh Steelers team

neurosurgeon. No timeline for surgery was given.

The doctor, Joseph Maroon, is experienced in conducting the type

of procedure on professional athletes in contact sports, and is

confident of a full recovery for Finley, the statement said.

”While his return to professional football is a hot-topic

conversation, his ability to live a long and fulfilling life with

his loved ones is by far and away our main objective,” the

statement said. Finley and his family said they appreciated the

outpouring of support received since the injury.

Finley was having good year with 25 catches for 300 yards and

three touchdowns when he was hurt. Finley, who was officially

placed on season-ending injured reserve last week, is a free agent

after this year.

Pro Football Talk first reported the statement Wednesday.

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Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org