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Report: Bucs G Carl Nicks (MRSA) wants to return by training camp

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

Carl Nicks sounds like he wants to return to the field. (USATSI)
Carl Nicks sounds like he wants to return to the field. (USATSI)

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Buccaneers guard Carl Nicks was one of three Tampa Bay players to suffer from some form of MRSA last season, and though cornerback Johnthan Banks missed just one game, Nicks only managed to suit up for two (and kicker Lawrence Tynes couldn't play at all).

In January, it was reported that the infection potentially could end Nicks' career, because he was still dealing with nerve damage in his foot. Considering the Buccaneers had made such a big investment in Nicks in 2012 -- they signed him to a five-year, $47.5 million deal with $31 million guaranteed -- they probably didn't want to release him at that point. But with a new coach in Lovie Smith in town, Nicks' tenure with the team seemed, at one point, tenuous.

But according to the Tampa Bay Times, Nicks said his goal is to be ready to practice by the time training camp begins.

Nicks said his foot is still painful, and he's dealing with nerve damage after he had to undergo surgery for a recurrence of MRSA last year. But Nicks certainly isn't ready to call it a career. He wants to play football again -- and as soon as possible.

"I got the chicken pox when it comes to that. I'm scratching all the time," Nicks said.

Said Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht last month: “He's moving along pretty good. So far, we've been pleased with his progression. He's continuing the rehab and we'll see where that goes."

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