The New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has had his right index-finger amputated following a fireworks accident last weekend, according to ESPN.
Pierre-Paul was trying to light fireworks during Fourth of July celebrations on Saturday night when the incident occurred. It is understood he chose to undergo surgery on the finger as part of his recovery from the injury. Sources told ESPN his return could come “sooner than people think” and he will play in the upcoming season.
Whether Pierre-Paul will be able to return to his best – he has been named to the Pro Bowl twice – remains to be seen. Pierre-Paul’s position at defensive end requires him to use his hands to get away from opposing offensive linemen. The Giants withdrew their $60m offer to the player earlier in the week, although Pierre-Paul was unlikely to sign the deal anyway and is technically not under contract with the team at the moment.
In a bizarre coincidence, Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback CJ Wilson is reported to have lost two fingers in a separate fireworks accident over the holiday weekend. Wilson’s hometown newspaper, the Lincoln Times-News said the incident occurred at a family party.
“We are aware that CJ was involved in an accident that occurred over the July 4th holiday,” the Buccaneers said in a statement. “It is our understanding that the injury occurred to one of his hands, and our primary concern at this moment is for his long-term health. We have been in contact with CJ and are continuing to monitor the situation.”
The injuries to both players are not necessarily career-threatening. Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott had part of a finger amputated in 1986 and played eight further seasons in the NFL.
This article was written by Guardian sport, for theguardian.com on Thursday 9th July 2015 01.36 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010