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Patriots' Brady says he doesn't need surgery for rib, finger injuries

BOSTON -- Tom Brady said Monday he won't need surgery for rib and finger injuries that bothered him for much of the season.

The New England Patriots' quarterback described his ailments as "just bumps and bruises" with which all players must contend.

"I'm feeling good. I really am," Brady said at a commercial appearance. "I'm excited I don't have to have surgery this offseason. A year ago at this time, there were all these concerns about whether I was going to play this year. It's nice to be in an offseason where I really feel I can get started right away."

Brady missed all but the first quarter of the 2008 opener with a left knee injury that required surgery during that season.

Brady played all 17 games this season, ending with the Patriots' 33-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the playoffs. Brady was selected as an AFC backup quarterback for the Pro Bowl, scheduled for Sunday in Miami, but withdrew because of the injury to his finger, the Patriots said.

Brady, an assistant player representative with the team, will enter the final year of his six-year contract next season.

"Being a player rep now, I realize all the issues we're facing," he said. "As a team player, I don't sit here saying, 'What about me? What about me?' I'm under contract. I'm going to go out there and play my butt off."

And, he said, "we're way overpaid."

Brady also said "we're a long way away" from a new collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and its players to replace the one that ends after the 2010 season, "but there's a long way to go before the season starts."

There would be no salary cap next season under the current agreement.

The Patriots won Super Bowls in 2002, 2004 and 2005 but have gone five consecutive years without an NFL championship. The Indianapolis Colts will face the New Orleans Saints in this year's Super Bowl.

"They've both been the best two teams all year, and they certainly deserve to be there," Brady said.

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