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Warren out for season

Hip trouble puts veteran on injured reserve list

By Shalise Manza Young
Globe Staff / August 14, 2010

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The Patriots’ defensive line, already a position with some question marks, suffered a major blow yesterday when the team placed veteran Ty Warren on season-ending injured reserve with a hip injury.

Warren had not been seen on the practice field since the second day of camp (July 30); he was hurt that day, in the morning session. According to Warren, preexisting bone spurs in his hip caused a tear in his labrum.

Warren will undergo surgery Monday in Vail, Colo., at the Steadman Clinic. The work will be done by renowned hip specialist Dr. Marc Philippon, who has fixed similar injuries to Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall and New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

Warren, who is entering his eighth NFL season, debated whether to have surgery or to try and play with the injury, which is not considered career-threatening.

In the end, he said he did what was best for his playing future.

“It was more of a business decision,’’ Warren said yesterday, moments after New England placed him on IR. “I hate not to be out there with the team, but I’m not going to be laboring around for the entire year.’’

Patriots coach Bill Belichick briefly addressed Warren’s situation during a conference call.

“[It’s a] tough break for Ty, but we have to move on,’’ said Belichick. “He’s missed quite a bit of time the last couple of years so we’ve had to deal with that anyway. Unfortunately that’s part of the game.’’

Warren, the Patriots’ first pick in 2003 (13th overall), missed three games in each of the last two seasons. In 2008, he missed time due to groin tears; last year, he sat because of a sprained ankle. This spring, he missed workouts while he did coursework in an effort to receive his degree from Texas A&M. In 2007, Warren signed a five-year extension through 2013.

In this situation, Belichick said the Patriots had to wait before making a decision.

“We knew a little while ago that there was a possibility that it might be a longer period of time, and there was also a possibility that it might be for a shorter period of time,’’ he said. “As more information was gathered from various sources, a combination of all of that coming together, and the player and medical people and so forth, this was the decision that was made.’’

Warren, 29, is expected to return to Foxborough and work with Joe Van Allen, the Patriots’ director of rehabilitation. During the early days of training camp, Van Allen could be seen putting Wes Welker through his paces, sometimes tethered to the receiver’s hips via bungee cord.

Without Warren, the Patriots are going to be looking for options for the left side of the line. Veterans Gerard Warren and Damione Lewis are options, but both are learning the intricate parts of a 3-4 system.

Gerard Warren, who has played with Oakland, Denver, and Cleveland, said after Thursday’s preseason game that he is becoming more comfortable, but needs more reps.

“Gerard and I have talked about it and he’s been very willing to adapt his style of play to what’s required in our defensive system. He’s done a good job with it,’’ Belichick said. “He played well [Thursday night]. I think he did a lot of good things in the game. He played with good effort and he made a nice play with a screen pass down the field, for example, things like that.

“We know he is a strong, physical player on the line of scrimmage and he’s shown good ability to rush the passer. [He] had a couple quarterback hurries and also he showed up well in pursuit. I think he’s made the transition pretty well. Like all of us, we’ve all got a long way to go and, of course, he’s in that category as well.’’

Belichick said Lewis can also help.

“Damione played in St. Louis and Carolina, primarily as a three-technique, lining up on the guard’s outside shoulder,’’ Belichick said. “In a 3-4 defense, we really don’t have that player. Not that there aren’t some alignments that put him there, but for the most part that’s not a primary base alignment for us in our 3-4 defense.

“It’s been a transition for him as well. Like Gerard, he’s played a lot of football. He’s played against a lot of good players. He’s a smart guy and a very experienced guy and he’s been able to make the adjustments to our system and our style of play.’’

Monique Walker of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Shalise Manza Young can be reached at syoung@globe.com.

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