Tom Brady led Buccaneers to Super Bowl LV win on completely torn MCL

The greatest quarterback of all time might also be the greatest at downplaying an injury -- at least until the coast is clear.

Tom Brady's knee ailment, which was described as minor and addressed with an operation that was referred to as a "clean-up," was actually much more serious than the quarterback and the Buccaneers led everyone to believe. Brady dealt with a fully torn MCL during the Bucs' 2020 Super Bowl-winning season, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday, per sources informed of the situation.

The Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud was the first to report Brady had sustained an MCL injury.

Despite the injury, Brady still threw for 4,633 passing yards, posted a 65.7 completion percentage and a 40-12 touchdown-to-interception ratio in the regular season. He followed that up with another 1,061 yards and a 10-3 TD-INT ratio in the playoffs, leading the Buccaneers to a resounding victory over the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV while wearing a brace on his left knee.

Brady's ailment caused him discomfort throughout the majority of the campaign, and it didn't take long for the 43-year-old quarterback to undergo surgery following his latest Super Bowl triumph. Still, the Buccaneers quelled concerns as much as possible in the months that followed, with head coach Bruce Arians telling reporters the procedure wasn't a significant one, and Brady staying positive during all media appearances following the operation.

It wasn't until May that Brady revealed the surgery was more significant than he or the Buccaneers had led everyone to believe, telling a Hodinkee radio podcast he'd undergone a "pretty serious" operation following a season that required relentless attention paid to managing his injury.

Brady was able to recover and rehabilitate in time to take the field for offseason minicamp and is expected to be a full participant from the start of training camp.

If anything, we've learned a few lessons from Brady that don't involve diet or pliability: A club's personal business is often best kept in house, and for a 43-year-old, Brady sure is a tough guy.

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