New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had surgery on his troublesome right foot Thursday, according to a source with intimate knowledge of the situation.
The surgery, performed by Patriots team physician George Theodore, could have been delayed until Monday but no later, according to the Boston Globe, which first reported news of the procedure Wednesday.
A screw was inserted in Brady's foot. If it heals as expected, the quarterback should have a three-month recovery time and be ready for training camp in late July/early August. Brady plans to rehabilitate in California and hopes to be healthy in time for offseason programs, which are currently scheduled to begin in late March.
Brady played the entire 2010 season with a stress fracture in his right foot, a source with knowledge of the situation said Wednesday. It was "no trivial injury," the source said, and became "very, very painful in the middle of the season."
According to the Globe, Brady received treatment from the team's medical staff, but surgery was determined to be the best option since the stress fracture hasn't disappeared. 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.
Brady had season-ending surgery after he injured his left knee during the 2008 season opener, but the foot injury predates that and caused the quarterback to miss time during training camp that year. He played in every game during the 2009 season despite having hand and rib injuries for much of the second half of the year, and Brady had "no problems" at all with the foot, the source said Wednesday.
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.
Still, Brady posted an outstanding season that could net him his second NFL MVP award. He threw for 3,900 yards and led the league in passer rating, touchdown passes (36) and fewest interceptions (four) as New England went 14-2 during the regular season and had home-field advantage for the AFC playoffs.
Brady was listed on the Patriots' injury report with a foot ailment for the last eight regular-season games and its playoff contest, but he played in all of them. He also was listed with a right shoulder injury in those games, as he has been for several years.
Brady's foot injury first was listed on the injury report after the Patriots' 34-14 loss at Cleveland on Nov. 7, New England's final regular-season defeat. He missed six practices for the last eight regular-season games and didn't fully participate in any of the others. He was listed as questionable once and probable for the other seven.
After a bye week, Brady fully participated in all three practices leading up to the AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the New York Jets. But he had one of his worst performances of the season in the 28-21 Patriots loss, throwing his first interception in 12 games and being sacked five times. He completed 29 of 45 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.