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From the Hart: Ex-Pat Bodden undergoes surgery

PFW writer Andy Hart discusses former Patriot cornerback Leigh Bodden who recently underwent back surgery.

Leigh Bodden's agent, Alvin Keels, broke the news on Thursday that his client had undergone back surgery. Though Keels says that the injury/surgery is not career threatening, it certainly sheds a new light on the veteran cornerback's final days in New England.

After being released by the Patriots, Bodden cleared waivers going unclaimed. He then worked out for the Scott Pioli, Romeo Crennel and the Kansas City Chiefs. He was apparently on the verge of signing with the team when he let them know of the physical problems he'd been experiencing since the summer.

Bodden played for Crennel when the former Patriots defensive coordinator was then the head coach in Cleveland, and wanted to let the coach know he might be getting damaged goods.

"I had too much respect for Romeo Crennel to not tell them what was going on," Bodden told the Boston Herald from his post-surgery hospital bed. "Then I got home and noticed one leg was smaller than the other. The muscle had atrophied. They measured my leg, and I had lost three inches."

Bodden was diagnosed with a herniated disc in his back. Though he'd appeared on the Patriots injury report with a back injury earlier this season, the team apparently was unable to diagnose the exact injury at that time.

"I wouldn't blame them," Bodden said, revealing that an MRI after Week 1 didn't reveal the nature of the problem.

Bodden told the Herald that he wanted to let people know that he was never unhappy with his role this season and that the root of the problem in New England was simply the way he felt at various points on the practice and game field due to the physical ailment.

"I had told them my back was hurting," Bodden told the Herald. "One time, a receiver caught a ball on me, and I could barely run. They're screaming at me, and it probably looked like I didn't care. But that's never the case with me."

Bill Belichick decided to cut Bodden on Oct. 28, less than two years into the four-year contract he signed with the team prior to 2010. He missed all of last season with a chest injury.

"(Belichick) just said it wasn't going the way we both wanted it to," Bodden said.

Now that Bodden hopes his back issue is solve, he's focused on returning to the field to ensure that his career doesn't end as a medical mystery.

And the surgery helps explain a little bit more clearly how the final weeks and months of Bodden's time in New England ended, leading to the team parting ways with its most experienced defensive back while struggling to play pass defense on a weekly basis.

There is always more to the story, and now we have a few more details for one of the many seemingly strange personnel moves the Patriots have made this year.

What do you make of the Bodden situation? Now that we know it was an injury issue, would you have preferred that the Patriots placed him on IR and let him return next season? Let us know what you think with a comment below!

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