NY Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul returned to team practice on Thursday after losing fingers on his right hand in a freak 4th of July accident.
Pierre-Paul, 28, went into hiding for months after fireworks blew off his right index finger and parts of his right thumb and middle finger of his right hand.
The media got a good look at Pierre-Paul’s mangled hand during a post-practice press conference on Friday.
Journalists wondered aloud how Pierre-Paul’s injury would affect his defensive game.
“Hopefully it doesn’t,” Pierre-Paul said, according to NJ.com. “I’m still the same Jason Pierre-Paul. The skill set hasn’t changed. I’ve probably gotten even better. I’m ready to play football and help my team win.”
Pierre-Paul was reluctant to talk to the media about the fireworks accident and the aftermath.
“I’m not going to go into detail with it,” he said, according to NJ.com. “It is what it is. I’ve lived and learned from it and moved on.”
Pierre-Paul said he felt fortunate because he saw other patients in the hospital who were in worse physical shape than he was.
“I look every day and see my hand and say, ‘Thank you, Lord.’ I saw 12 people in the hospital and my hand was the best one.”