June: It'll be a short rehab

Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Cato June did not play in Sunday's game against the New York Giants. On Monday he revealed that his "foot sprain," as the team called it all last week, is actually more serious.

Cato June seemed taken aback by the question about his injured foot.

All last week the Tampa Bay Buccaneers told the media that June's foot was sprained. But on Monday, as he packed up his locker after a largely successful first season in Tampa Bay, June had a different story.

"It's broke," June said.

June did not reveal the extent of the break, but said he plans to see a specialist this week to determine the severity of the injury and the treatment.

Surgery may be an option, but June said he would leave that up to the doctor.

June anticipated a short rehabilitation period, but he hated missing Sunday's game.

"It's frustrating," June said. "You go through training camp and OTAs and the preseason, and it's (injury) in the back of your mind, but you don't think about it. But you know the team's been plagued by injuries and I'd barely been in the training room. Then I hurt my foot and I'm like, ‘Everyone has nicks and bruises. I can bounce back.' Not being able to go was frustrating, especially at playoff time."

June did not play on Sunday against the New York Giants in the NFC Wild Card playoff. He injured his foot against Carolina in the regular-season finale, but wasn't sure when during his 15 to 17 plays in that game.

In fact, June wasn't aware of the injury until the next morning.

"It was a big swollen foot," June said. "It's one of those things you can't explain. Sometimes you know the play you twist your knee up on or break your arm on. I really can't call that."

June felt there was a chance he could come back during the postseason, which is part of the reason why he wasn't placed on injured reserve.

June finished as the team's third-leading tackler with 120 tackles in his first year with the Bucs. He picked off a pass and defended two other passes. He came off the field on some passing downs and shared other passing downs at weak side linebacker with Derrick Brooks.

June wants to play every down. But he said he took his use this season as a learning experience.

"I've been in a situation in my second year starting and I came off the field on third down and I thought to myself, ‘Man, why am I coming off on third down? This is my thing?' It's all about the team," June said.

June said he felt he learned so much this year that he was back to being a young guy on defense, as opposed to the "grizzled" veteran he was in Indianapolis last season.

"It makes me sit back and look and think to myself, ‘I still have a lot of learning to do in this game," June said. "And who better to learn from than Derrick Brooks?'

"I'm happy here and it's been a great experience so far."

Listen to Bucsblitz.com's Matthew Postins every Tuesday with former Buccaneers linebacker Scot Brantley on WHBO 1470 ESPN Radio in Tampa and Clearwater from 3-6 p.m. If you miss the show, check out Bucsblitz.com's exclusive team media center for Postins' archived appearances.

Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for Bucsblitz.com and the Charlotte (Fla.) Sun-Herald. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers Association, and his coverage of the Buccaneers has won numerous state and national awards.

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