Jermichael Finley is determined to return to the field in 2014. His agent continues to paint a very optimistic picture it will happen.
Blake Baratz said the tight end's neurosurgeon told Finley that there's a "99.9 percent" chance his spinal fusion will fully heal. Baratz said once the healing is complete, Finley will be cleared for "full football activity."
"He wants to play because this is his livelihood and what he has worked so hard for his entire life," Baratz said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He's only 26 years old and isn't ready for the next chapter of his life yet.
"If that decision is forced upon him, then he understands. We adjust and we move forward. He's working out and rehabbing almost six hours per day with a group of experts to ensure that he stays in the best shape possible."
Though the healing process of fused bones can take up to six months or even longer, Baratz said Finley has been told he'll be fully healed in 4-to-8 weeks. It's a convenient timetable with free agency set to begin on March 11.
Finley would like to return to the Green Bay Packers, but it's unclear if the team is willing to reinvest in a player who is coming off a serious injury. Finley is believed to have undergone the same C3/C4 fusion that former Packers safety Nick Collins underwent in 2011. Collins has been unable to find a job since the procedure.
That said, every case is different, and Finley has age and a solid resume on his side. Given a clean bill of health, he should be able to find a job.