- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Plaxico Burress underwent an MRI on Friday morning on his injured left ankle, which confirmed that he has a sprain, the New York Jets wide receiver said Friday afternoon. Burress sat out of all but the stretching portion of the afternoon practice and was later taken inside for treatment on the injury.
"Everyone knows I want to get out on the field," said Burress, who turned 34 Friday.
But the Jets aren't ready to let him play. Earlier in the day, coach Rex Ryan said that Burress would not play in Monday's preseason game in Houston.
"We don't want it to linger and we think that if we just chill him until Wednesday, he should be fine," Ryan said.
Ryan said that the trainers were concerned that if Burress flew to Houston with the team it could cause the ankle to swell. He will not practice with the team until next week, when he expects to be 100 percent.
"I think we were all anxious to see him out there but I want to see him out there at 100 percent, not 80 percent," Ryan said. "If we had to play a (regular-season) game he would definitely play."
The Jets initially said that Burress would miss one or two practices after rolling his ankle at the start of camp, but he participated in team drills only once, sneaking into the first rep on Sunday and again on Monday. On Tuesday, Ryan said Burress experienced some swelling, and Burress admitted his ankle is taking longer to heal than he expected.
"Yes, probably a couple days longer than what I expected," Burress said. "But it's a sprain, it's the preseason, I mean Rex's whole mindset is, 'Hey, if we have the chance to get it 100 percent now, let's just do it right one time.'"
Burress hasn't played football in two seasons after serving time in jail for carrying an unlicensed handgun into a Manhattan nightclub, where he accidentally shot himself. Ryan said he isn't yet concerned about the fact that the new $3 million receiver hasn't gotten involved in team drills yet.
"He knows how to play football. I'm not concerned right now," Ryan said. "Now, if it goes on I have to answer the question next week, the week after, whatever, I don't think we're going to have those issues."
Ryan said he didn't think the ankle injury was a continuation of some problems Burress had while playing for the Giants. His prior ankle trouble was with the right ankle. Burress said the injuries were completely different.
"I know the difference between pain and soreness," Burress said. "This is just soreness. The other ankle that I hurt I tore the tendon completely off the bone. There was nothing that could be done for that, (just) surgery and rest. But this is just a minor sprain.
"And if I remember the last time I had a little tweaked ankle in training camp, I won the Super Bowl."
Jane McManus is a reporter and columnist for ESPNNewYork.com.
1dEric D. Williams