Zombo broke the scapula in a collision with fullback John Kuhn during warmups before Friday night's preseason game against Arizona, but still played in the game and didn't find out about the severity of his injury until later.
"Honestly, I just thought it was a bruise," Zombo said. "It hurt, but I really didn't think anything was broken. I thought it was just a serious bruise and I'd just get treated afterward and the swelling would go down and I'd be all right."
To McCarthy, it was a sign of Zombo's toughness.
"That tells you something about Frank," he said.
Zombo, an undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan, played in 13 games with eight starts as a rookie last season. He also started and recorded a sack in the Super Bowl.
"They haven't said anything about that," Zombo said. "I certainly hope not. I don't think it's that serious of an injury that it'd be the whole season. I definitely hope not. But I was playing great up until then. I graded out at 100 percent, I played 30 plays with one arm, so it really did hurt because I played really well with one arm.
"That's a broken shoulder blade right there. That's pretty tough," he said. "Already there's a competition at that right outside linebacker spot, and with Frank down that's definitely a hit there. We need Frank to get back and get strong. He's been having a heck of a camp. We need to get him back as soon as possible."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press