Warner brings healthy thumb to minicamp

Sunday, June 2, 2002

ST. LOUIS -- Although Kurt Warner is still wearing a brace on his thumb, he said Saturday the injury that hindered him during his MVP season is history.

The St. Louis Rams' quarterback threw for 4,830 yards, second highest in NFL history, and completed 68.7 percent of his passes despite playing with a sprained ligament most of the year. And now he's healthy. He took all the repetitions with the first-stringers at the team's first mandatory minicamp and had plenty of zip on the ball.

"There's absolutely no pain whatsoever," Warner said. "We've got to protect it in hopes that it doesn't get banged or hit again, but as far as throwing, there's absolutely no pain."

The ligaments on both the inside and outside of the thumb were injured. On the outside, he's still experiencing some problems and the knuckle is larger than usual, but it's largely unrelated to throwing.

The team doesn't seem a bit worried about the injury, suffered when Warner's hand struck a helmet. Warner didn't resume throwing until about two weeks ago.

"You know, that's always going to be a bit of an issue," Martz said. "It's always going to have some soreness to it. We just try to manage it the best way we can."

To Warner, the injury was just one of those freak things.

"You just go out and play," he said. "I've played for how many years and hit my thumb twice. It is kind of an odd thing, so it's nothing I'm going to worry about."

The full squad hit the field Saturday morning for the first time since their 20-17 Super Bowl loss to the underdog New England Patriots in February. The Rams' first minicamp last month was by invitation only attended by rookies and selected veterans.

Notes: Defensive tackle Damione Lewis, who had surgery for a broken foot last month, will wear a walking cast for two more weeks. He's expected to be at full strength for the start of training camp on July 27.

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