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Vilma asks for hearing Thursday in bounty case

July 16, 2012
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NEW ORLEANS—Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma is asking a federal judge for a hearing Thursday on his bid to block his season-long suspension stemming from the NFL's bounty investigation.

In a court filing Monday, Vilma's attorneys ask U.S. District Judge Helen "Ginger" Berrigan to hear their request for a temporary restraining order before the Saints' training camp opens on July 23.

Berrigan didn't immediately rule on Vilma's hearing request.

Vilma has said his suspension is without merit and has accused NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell of damaging his reputation and irreparably harming his career.

Vilma wants to attend training camp so he can continue receiving treatment for a knee injury.

Vilma said in court papers Monday that he has resumed running for the first time in six months after being treated in early July by a doctor in Germany. Vilma said New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez told him about the doctor, whose procedure is not FDA-approved according to the doctor's website, and so is not available in the United States.

"For me to continue my progress, it is vital that my rehabilitation be carefully supervised," Vilma said in an affidavit. "The Saints head trainer, Scottie Patton, is the person best qualified to help me make sure my ability to engage in my profession is back on track.

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