Brady's Status: Back on the Links

Sometimes when it rains it pours. Such was the case in 2005 when Patriots players were hampered by injuries, which forced the coaches to shuffle the roster every week. One position they didn't have to adjust was at quarterback, where Tom Brady played through a sports hernia injury to finish the season. Following recovery from his surgery, the former Michigan gunslinger will be able to put away those golf clubs and hit the training circuit again.

Like many of his quarterback brethren, Tom Brady has a health issue this offseason. Unlike Cincinnati's Carson Palmer (knee), Minnesota's Daunte Culpepper (knee), San Diego's Drew Brees (shoulder), and the New York Jets' Chad Pennington (shoulder), Brady's situation isn't considered serious.

Certainly Brady didn't appear concerned about his upcoming surgery to repair a sports hernia while he was yukking it up at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in California recently. Brady backed out of the Pro Bowl because of the injury, but it didn't prevent him from hobnobbing on the golf course with celebrities such as comedians Bill Murray, Ray Romano and George Lopez, actors Dennis Quaid and Mark Wahlberg, singer Justin Timberlake and billionaire Donald Trump, who back in 2002 flew Brady in his private jet to judge the Miss USA pageant in Gary, Ind., soon after Brady had won his first Super Bowl MVP award.

Brady and his father Tom Sr. were paired with pros Frank Lickliter and Rocco Mediate for three days. They missed the cut, but Brady said he enjoyed the experience.

"I've played countless rounds with my father," Brady was quoted as saying. "We've been excited, talking about this for weeks. He's been trying hard. I've been trying hard. It was fun being out there with him. There's no one I'd rather play with."

As for whom he'd like to play for, scratch the Silver and Black off the list. When a fan at the pro-am shouted to Brady that Oakland owner Al Davis wanted him, Brady - who grew up a 49ers fan in San Mateo, Calif. - yelled back, "I'll never play for the Raiders."

Little chance of that happening anyway since Brady is under contract with the Patriots through 2010. The only other Patriot who is locked up for that long is left tackle Matt Light. Light is coming off a broken leg that ended his season in Week 3 (although he didn't go on injured reserve until Dec. 22). Brady doesn't expect any such setback from his upcoming surgery, which he confirmed at the Super Bowl.

Brady apparently had been bothered since midseason by the sports hernia - the same injury that KO'd Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb this season. Brady did not miss any practices or game action because of the hernia, which the team never acknowledged on its weekly injury report. Speaking at Super Bowl XL in Detroit, Brady downplayed the problem, calling it "just something you deal with."

One published report said Brady could be facing 6-8 weeks of rehab following the surgery. However, the procedure is not expected to interfere with his offseason workouts.

Reports from Miami, where Brady attended fellow quarterback Dan Marino's charity golf tournament, indicate that the Brady has already undergone surgery. One Boston media outlet is reporting that Brady apparently had surgery last week and is slowly working his way back by doing a little golfing.

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