GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Packers tight end Jermichael Finley plans to have spinal fusion surgery and intends to play football again.
Finley's agent, Blake Baratz, said Thursday that Finley has been working with the Packers organization in determining what's best after suffering a neck injury last month in a game against the Browns.
Baratz said it was collectively determined that surgery may not be 100 percent necessary, but is a ''proactive measure that should alleviate future risks with regards to a similar episode or re-injury.''
The statement said Finley's long-term health is the primary concern, and that Finley intends to resume playing again after surgery to be performed by the Pittsburgh Steelers team neurosurgeon. No timeline for surgery was given.
The doctor, Joseph Maroon, is experienced in conducting the type of procedure on professional athletes in contact sports, and is confident of a full recovery for Finley, the statement said.
''While his return to professional football is a hot-topic conversation, his ability to live a long and fulfilling life with his loved ones is by far and away our main objective,'' the statement said. Finley and his family said they appreciated the outpouring of support received since the injury.
Finley was having good year with 25 catches for 300 yards and three touchdowns when he was hurt. Finley, who was officially placed on season-ending injured reserve last week, is a free agent after this year.
Pro Football Talk first reported the statement Wednesday.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org