Burress Shot in Right Thigh
By TOM CANAVAN
(Nov. 29) - Super Bowl hero Plaxico Burress was accidentally shot in the right thigh and spent the night in the hospital, another dramatic turn in a tumultuous season in which the star New York Giants receiver has been fined and suspended.
The Giants said the shooting happened Friday night and he was released from the hospital early Saturday. The team did not say where the shooting took place, what hospital Burress went to or how badly he was injured. The Giants called this an "apparent accidental shooting." FoxSports.com has reported that the wound was self-inflicted.
"Our primary concern is for Plaxico's health and well-being, and given the circumstances, we are relieved to say he was released from a New York City hospital," the team said in a statement.
Burress was wounded in a nightclub, a team official told The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the team was still trying to sort out all the facts. ESPN.com reported the shooting was at the Latin Quarter in midtown Manhattan.
The club is a sprawling 15,000-square-foot, two-story restaurant and club located in the Radisson Lexington Hotel. Katia Laine, a manager at the hotel, told the AP police officers had been to the club.
Phone messages and an e-mail left at the nightclub were not immediately returned.
The Giants said they have been in contact with the 31-year-old receiver since the shooting and have discussed the matter with NFL security.
"This incident could become a matter for law enforcement officials, and because of that we have no comment on any of the details," the team said.
Repeated phones calls to Burress' home and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, were not immediately returned.
Added NFL spokesman Joe Browne: "We are gathering information, just like everyone else."
Burress injured a hamstring two weeks ago against the Baltimore Ravens. The Giants said Friday he would not play Sunday in Washington.
Burress was suspended for a game against Seattle on Oct. 5 and fined $117,500 for missing a team meeting and failing to notify the team of his absence. He said he had a family emergency.
He also was fined $45,000 by the NFL for his conduct during an Oct. 19 game against 49ers in which he abused an official and tossed a ball into the stands.
"Like I said, I am human," Burress said last month in discussing his runs-ins with the team. "I have made some mistakes. I haven't made the best of decisions, I am aware of that, and I am the first one to look myself in the mirror, be honest with myself, and say that."
"But as far as me going out and playing hard, I am going to keep going out and competing," he added. "Like I said, I just keep going out and doing what is asked of me on the football field, and in whatever that role may be I hope I go out and fulfill it."
While the team can find it tough handling Burress, he is clearly a playmaker who poses a threat to opponents.
Burress caught the winning pass in the Giants' Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots, capping a season in which he caught a career-high 12 touchdowns. He was belatedly rewarded, signing a five-year, $35 million contract hours before the season opened in September.
The signing came after an unsettling offseason during which Burress was fined $25,000 for refusing to practice during a mandatory minicamp in June. He also missed most of training camp at the University at Albany with a sprained ankle. He insisted the injury - not his contract - kept him off the field.
Despite a lack of practice, Burress started in the opener against Washington and caught 10 passes for 133 yards. The following week, he had five catches for 81 yards and a touchdown in a win over St. Louis.
The rest of the season has not been as productive. The most passes he has caught in any game since is four in a loss to Cleveland on Oct. 13, the game following his suspension.
Burress has 35 catches for 454 yards and four touchdowns in a season in which he has constantly drawn double coverage. His streak of receptions in 115 consecutive games ended last week in Arizona. He aggravated his hamstring injury during the first series and did not return.
It was the sixth-longest active streak in the league, dating to Nov. 26, 2000 against Cincinnati, Burress' rookie season in Pittsburgh.
Signed as a free agent in 2005, Burress had caught a pass in all 56 previous games in which he had played for the Giants.
Associated Press writers Colleen Long in New York and Samantha Henry in Trenton, N.J. contributed to this report.
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