LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) - Joe Jurevicius had a major setback in his bid to return from a serious knee injury when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
revealed on Monday that the receiver now needs surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back.
"Obviously it's frustrating," coach Jon Gruden said Monday. "But it's been frustrating for some time. Let's get him right. ... He's rehabbed the knee.
It's very good. We'll have the back surgically fixed and hopefuly he can return some time soon."
Jurevicius, one of the key components of the Bucs' Super Bowl run in 2002, missed most of last season after tearing the medial collateral ligament in
his right knee against Carolina last Sept. 14.
He appeared briefly in three more games before being placed on injured reserve on Dec. 2.
Although general manager Bruce Allen suggested there is a chance Jurevicius could return before the start of the regular season, Gruden said it's too
soon to tell how long the seventh-year pro will be out.
"It could be a couple of weeks, it could be a couple of months, it could be the season, I don't know," Gruden said. "I don't want to speculate until I
get all the facts."
Jurevicius will have surgery Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was placed on the active non-football injury list last week.
The announcement came on the same day fullback Mike Alstott participated in full contact drills for the first time since undergoing surgery on a
herniated disc in his neck.
Tackle Kenyatta Walker also practiced Monday after missing two days of workouts because of what the team had described as a stomach virus. Walker
would not discuss specifics, but said he underwent a surgical procedure last week.
Meanwhile, defensive end Simeon Rice missed practice for the third straight day with what Allen would only say is a non-football related illness.
"We're not concerned, but we're making sure we look into everything," Allen said.