New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spent the entire year playing with a stress fracture in his right foot that predated the 2010 season and grew worse as the schedule wore on, according to a report from the NFL's Albert Breer.
Breer cites a source who says that the stress fracture was "no trivial injury" and that it became "very, very painful in the middle of the season."
WEEI originally reported Wednesday morning that Brady had a fractured foot that he suffered either "before or during" the Jets game on Sunday. Later in the day, CSNNE's Tom Curran broke the news that the quarterback was suffering from a stress fracture that occurred before the 2010 season ever began. And now Breer has confirmed that report, adding that the fracture dates back as far as 2008.
The injury predates Brady's reconstructive knee surgery, and caused the quarterback to miss time during 2008 training camp. The problems caused by the injury subsided after Brady injured his knee, and he played through the 2009 season with "no problems" in the foot at all. He also had no issue with the foot in the 2010 offseason, but it "really flared up in the fall."
The injury is the reason Brady missed Wednesday practices weekly starting on Nov. 7 through the end of the regular season, and was limited on various other occasions. Brady's condition did improve to the point where he was fine for the team's playoff game last Sunday, but it's an injury that will continue to have to be dealt with.
In addition to missing Wednesday practices, Brady began to appear on the weekly injury report with a "foot" injury following the Week 9 loss at Cleveland. He remained probable with both a shoulder and foot injury for the remainder of the season.
Breer writes that "the condition is considered more serious than what New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has played through, but less serious than Brett Favre's foot injury, since Brady's is non-arthrictic."
Despite all this, the Boston Globe is reporting that Brady plans to play in the Pro Bowl on Jan. 30. He is the AFC's starting QB in Hawaii.