Tampa Bay Bucs' Carl Nicks has surgery to get rid of MRSA

TAMPA, Fla. -- One of three members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers diagnosed with MRSA has had surgery to get rid of the staph infection. MRSA is difficult to treat because it's resistant to many common antibiotics.

Carl Nicks had surgery Tuesday night and coach Greg Schiano said the guard is doing well.

The two-time All-Pro was diagnosed as having MRSA in a blister of the left side of his foot during training camp in August. He was treated with antibiotics and appeared in two regular season games before the Bucs announced last week that Nicks had a recurrence.

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Kicker Lawrence Tynes also was found to have MRSA in August and is on the non-football injury list. A third case was discovered last week, but rookie cornerback Johnthan Banks has not been sidelined by the infection.

"Carl got an opinion outside of town and they decided they were going to do surgery," Schiano said. "I don't have a timetable (for recovery), and I don't really have any more than that."

If the 6-foot-5, 349-pound Nicks winds up on injured reserve, it will be the second straight year that his season has ended because of a problem with his left foot.

An All-Pro two years ago with New Orleans, Nicks signed a five-year, $47.5 million contract with the Bucs as a free agent in March 2012. He missed the final nine games of last season with a toe injury that required surgery. The MRSA infection discovered in August sidelined him the final preseason game, as well as the first two weeks of the regular season.

Nicks, 28, returned to the lineup last month and played against New England and Arizona before learning MRSA had returned to the same location.

An infectious disease expert who was flown in for consultation last week said the infection had gotten into the bone in Nicks' foot.

"The reality is that often times when MRSA gets into the bone, antibiotic therapy alone is not enough to actually cure it," Dr. Deverick J. Anderson, an associate professor of medicine at the Duke University Medical Center and co-director of the Duke Infection Control Outwork Network, said during the visit to One Buc Place, the team's state of the art training facility.

"Typically, in that scenario, that is where you try antibiotic therapy and if it continues to recur, that indicates that you may require a surgical procedure to definitively remove that infection."

Nicks has played in just nine of 21 games since joining the Bucs, who are off to an 0-5 start this season.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

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