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Carl Nicks passes physical, plans to practice in training camp

Carl Nicks

FILE - In this July 29, 2013, file photo, Tampa Bay Buccaneers guard Carl Nicks takes off his helmet during NFL football training camp in Tampa, Fla. The Buccaneers said Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, that Carl Nicks and Lawrence Tynes are being treated for MRSA infections. MRSA is a staph infection that is resistant to some antibiotics. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara, File)

AP

Buccaneers guard Carl Nicks isn’t ready to practice during this week’s mandatory minicamp, but he expects to practice in six weeks when training camp opens.

Tampa Bay coach Lovie Smith told reporters today that Nicks passed his physical, and Nicks said he believes he’ll be sufficiently recovered from two foot surgeries that he can go for training camp.

“My status is on schedule. Looking forward to being ready for training camp,” Nicks said, via Tom Krasniqi of WDAE. “Honestly, I think I’ll be ready to play.”

Nicks has played just nine games with the Bucs in the two seasons since they signed him to a five-year, $47.5 million contract, thanks to a toe injury that required surgery, which then led to an infection. Nicks said he’s not in football shape and not running, and he expects to have permanent pain in the foot. But if Nicks can be close to the kind of player he was when the Bucs signed him, he could provide a significant upgrade to the offensive line in Tampa.