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Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley has been told by doctors that he should be released from the hospital within the next 24 hours, a league source told ESPN.
There is no specific timetable for Finley's return to the field, but indications are that he likely will miss at least four to six weeks, sources said.
Doctors have told Finley that he will not require surgery and that all current indications are that he should eventually be able to resume his NFL career if he so chooses.
Once released from the hospital, Finley might visit more neurosurgeons and specialists in treating spinal injuries. His MRIs and other scans are being sent to doctors for evaluation.
The current diagnosis is that Finley suffered a spinal contusion located in his neck, but that it should heal and that once it does he would be at no more risk for suffering a spinal injury than any other player.
Finley has been told the doctors believe his injury was caused by extreme torque and not by spinal compression, which prevented the spine and discs from being damaged.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy has said there is no timetable for Finley to rejoin the team.
The Packers are considered a conservative team when it comes to treatment of serious injuries, and the possibility remains that Green Bay might decide it is uncomfortable returning Finley to the field and instead place him on season-ending injured reserve.
The Packers are likely to make that decision sometime this week.
Finley was injured at the end of a 10-yard reception during Sunday's win over the Cleveland Browns, when he took a hit to the head from safety Tashaun Gipson. The game was delayed for six minutes while medical personnel attended to Finley.
It was the second time this season Finley was knocked out of a game. In Week 3 at Cincinnati, he sustained a concussion when safety George Iloka hit him in the helmet. Iloka was not penalized on the play but was fined $15,000.