Brett LoGiurato
Sunday July 22nd, 2012


Atlanta Falcons linebacker Lofa Tatupu injured a pectoral muscle and could miss the start of training camp. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Lofa Tatupu seriously injured a pectoral muscle during a workout Thursday and will probably miss the start of the team's training camp this week, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Saturday.

The Falcons later reported the news on the team's official website.

“Lofa sustained a pectoral injury while working out recently,” Falcons head coach Mike Smith said. “At this point, we do not know the extent of the injury, but we expect to have more information early next week.”

The Falcons open training camp on Thursday.

In March, Atlanta signed Tatupu to a two-year, $3.6 million contract. He is expected to compete for the open middle-linebacker spot with second-year linebacker Akeem Dent.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Tatupu will visit orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Monday to get a clearer picture of the severity of the injury. From the report:

Tatupu’s availability will revolve around whether the pectoral was just strained or if it was ruptured.

If the injury is deemed a grade one strain, he could recover in a few days, according to noted author Jim Brown, who was formerly the editor of Georgia Tech’s Sports Medicine and Performance newsletter. Brown has written 14 books on health, medicine and sports. He contends that a grade two strain could keep a player out two to six weeks. If the injury is ruptured or torn, surgery would be required and full recovery would take months.

Tatupu, 29, hasn't played since 2010, when he had 88 total tackles, one sack and one interception, which was returned for a touchdown. He thought about retiring this offseason, but eventually decided to play another season with the Falcons.

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