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Plaxico Burress plans NFL return in 2014

Plaxico Burress celebrates a touchdown during a game

Plaxico Burress celebrates a touchdown during a game against the New England Patriots. Credit: AP, 2004

Plaxico Burress wants to make another comeback.

The wide receiver and free agent-to-be will turn 37 by the time the 2014 season begins, but he told the Steelers’ website that he thinks he can still play at an NFL level despite missing the entire 2013 season with a torn rotator cuff.

“I am going to treat it as I am coming back to play,” Burress said. “I am going to keep that mindset until they tell me otherwise. I am going to keep going until I can’t go anymore. The stronger I can get, I can come back and play. I want to come back and play.

“Nobody wants to leave via injury,” he added. “I am too much of a competitor to go out on that note. I am going to attack it and compete. I am going to train and rehab that way. I am approaching it with a business mind. I want to help the Steelers get to the ultimate goal, and that is winning a championship. That is why we work so hard when nobody is watching.”

Burress started his career with the Steelers and then won a Super Bowl with the Giants. The following year he was released from the team after he accidentally shot himself in the leg and served 20 months in prison on gun charges. Since then, he has played for the Jets and returned to the Steelers.

“It was tough,” Burress said of missing 2013 after a training camp injury. “I watched every game [from his home in New Jersey]. I was into it with what was going on with the guys. When we would get into the red zone at times and get field goals and not touchdowns, I saw myself going up there and maybe drawing double coverage or catching a touchdown to help us. That was the most difficult part about it, knowing I could be contributing and helping.”

As recently as January, Burress had not been allowed to participate in any upper body work following surgery.

“I am doing pretty good,” he said. “I still have a ways to go from a rehab standpoint. I am rehabbing every day and will see how it feels when the offseason program starts. I am doing a few more exercises with using my shoulder to get it stronger. I am working on getting the flexibility back in it from the stiffness and the scar tissue and all of those things.

“Right now I am working on the range of motion, trying to get all of the range of motion back that I can. As the weeks and months go by I am getting stronger. Getting my range of motion back is the most important thing for me with the position I play, being able to catch balls the way that I need to.”

And the way that, perhaps, an NFL team will need him to.

New York Sports