Carl Nicks injury: Buccaneers guard hopes to return by training camp

Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Nicks is said to be "on schedule" but that could still mean a long time until he's back on the field.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed Carl Nicks on the injured reserve in October, but the road to recovery may withhold the offensive lineman from participating in anything until training camp. On Monday, head coach Greg Schiano told Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times that Nicks is on pace to return in time for camp.

"Carl is on schedule but we planned that it would be a lengthy (timeline)," Schiano said. "... I think they're both on schedule for when we need them, and that's come training camp. If we get something more than that, then that's a bonus."

Still very early in the offseason workout program, teams are typically extra cautious regarding players with injuries participating with the team. Teams are even more careful with high-value players like Nicks, who was given a five-year, $47.5 million contract from the Buccaneers in the 2012 free agency period.

Nicks, 28, started in seven games for the Buccaneers before a torn plantar plate in his toe forced him out of the lineup for the rest of the season. The Buccaneers finished the year with a 7-9 record, including a five-game losing streak late in the season, although the offense finished ninth in total yardage gained.

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