Just in case you thought those images of Jason Pierre-Paul’s right hand, mangled in a fireworks accident, were just a bit of Rick Baker prosthetic magic, nope. Pierre-Paul has changed his avatar on Twitter and Instagram to the above X-ray, and you can see just how fucked up those fingers are.
His index finger is mostly gone, and the thumb shortened. It’s not clear when this image was taken—Pierre-Paul has undergone multiple surgeries, the most recent on Jan. 18—but those are surgical screws in the X-Ray, pinning the thumb, index, and middle fingers together, and the thumb to the base.
Maybe most interesting is how visible is the mass of flesh and scar tissue of Pierre-Paul’s middle finger. (A very good look here, though be aware the photo might be kind of gross.) It’s that middle finger that JPP blames for not being quite so effective after returning for the second half of last season: he can’t really flex it, so he’s got absolutely no grip, requiring him to wrap the whole hand in a “club.”
“The surgery is definitely going to help me a lot,” Pierre-Paul said on Dec. 30. “I can’t grip out of my middle finger, it can’t close right now. That’s the reason why I’m in the club. Once I have my surgery I’ll be fine. I’m excited to actually get it done. Something I knew I had to get done at the end of the season.
“Get back to shedding offensive tackles,” JPP said of the goal for the surgery. “As you see on film you can see that the club is preventing me from making tackles. People see it. I see it. Once I move away from the club, I’ll be perfectly fine.”
Pierre-Paul had one sack and 26 tackles in eight games played, but insists he’ll improve upon that. The Giants aren’t quite counting on it: they’re not expected to use a franchise tag on him, though they have expressed interest in bringing him back at a lower price.
Pierre-Paul has at least one more surgery scheduled this offseason.