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Source: Jason Pierre-Paul Has Fractured Thumb, Could Miss at Least 6 Weeks

Jason ColeNFL AnalystJuly 9, 2015

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New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul had his right index finger removed Wednesday and a skin graft performed on much of his right hand and forearm, but the injury that could keep him out the longest is far more mundane.               

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Pierre-Paul has a fracture in his right thumb and may have other fractures in his remaining fingers and hand after a fireworks accident Saturday night. Pierre-Paul had surgery earlier this week on the hand to repair the fractures, placing pins in at least the thumb.

The source and two doctors with experience treating these types of injuries all agreed the fractures could keep Pierre-Paul from practicing for at least six weeks.

As for the amputation of his index finger, the decision to remove it was based on the fact that it will allow Pierre-Paul to return earlier, the source said.

"He was told that he could repair the finger, but it was probably going to take multiple procedures and even after all of that, the finger was probably going to be disfigured and not very functional, if at all," the source said. "Look, it's not easy to say, 'OK, cut it off.' But for what he's trying to do, play football, it makes sense."

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Both doctors agreed with the cost-benefit analysis decision of amputating the finger over trying to repair it. In addition, both said losing the finger wouldn't keep him from playing effectively.

"For the purpose of grabbing, pulling and tackling, the index finger is not as important as the [middle finger and ring finger]," one of the doctors said. However, the doctor said that extensive damage to the thumb would be even more problematic.

As for the "split-thickness" skin graft Pierre-Paul received, that was again considered the best-case scenario, the doctors said. The source said Pierre-Paul might be able to begin exercising with the hand in as little as two weeks, although three or four may be more likely.

Either way, the amputation and skin graft are expected to heal before the broken thumb. Regardless, Pierre-Paul is expected to miss at least half of training camp, if he reports on time.

He is currently under the franchise tag for the Giants, having been offered a one-year deal for $14.8 million. The Giants have pulled a five-year, $60 million deal they offered to Pierre-Paul earlier this offseason, according to two sources.

Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Pierre-Paul has not signed the one-year offer. A source said that Pierre-Paul might not sign the offer and report to the team until he is healthy, which would be late August. If the Giants request that he report earlier, such as at the start of training camp, a negotiation over the team's ability to put him on the non-football injury list is expected.

Pierre-Paul declined to meet with Giants trainer Ronnie Barnes and former player and current team liaison Jessie Armstead this week after they traveled to Miami.

"That wasn't out of disrespect for them," the source said. "Jason had more important things to deal with. He's trying to take care of himself and get back to being able to play. He didn't have time to deal with them."

Pierre-Paul is expected to file a lawsuit against Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami for leaking his medical chart to ESPN, the source said. The network posted Pierre-Paul's medical chart on the Internet. The release of such information without the patient's approval is a violation of federal law.

Jason Cole covers the NFL for Bleacher Report.

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