New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady played with a stress fracture in his right foot that, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, became significant over the course of the 2010 season.
The source said Wednesday that this was "no trivial injury" and it became "very, very painful in the middle of the season."
Comcast SportsNet New England first reported Brady's ailment and described it as "not so much an injury as a condition."
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, the source said. Brady also didn't have an issue with the foot during the 2010 offseason, but it "really flared up in the fall," according to the source.
The injury is the reason Brady missed Wednesday practices every week starting 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 Patriots' playoff game last Sunday, but it's an injury with which the quarterback must continue to deal.
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-arthritic.
A league source told the Boston Globe on Wednesday that Brady plans to play in the Pro Bowl on Jan. 30 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Brady was the top vote-getter for the annual all-star game.