Antonio Pierce Phoned Trainer After Plaxico Shot Himself

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Antonio Pierce telephoned a team trainer for help after star receiver Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself, the New York Giants revealed, offering new details about the incident.

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Pierce has refused to discuss his actions, but he said Wednesday he would talk to the media after practice Thursday. It’s unclear whether he will chat about anything other than Sunday’s game against Philadelphia as his attorney Michael Bachner is working out details of when the middle linebacker will talk to police.

Authorities are trying to determine whether Pierce tried to cover up the shooting early Saturday morning in a Manhattan nightclub. Police said Pierce drove Burress to the hospital and returned to New Jersey with Burress’ gun in the glove compartment of his black Cadillac Escalade. Investigators have impounded the SUV to search it for any blood or gun residue.

A day after suspending Burress for conduct detrimental to the team, the Super Bowl champion Giants disclosed key details about how Burress ended up at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in an effort to clarify the team’s involvement in the treatment.

The team said Pierce called team trainer Ronnie Barnes after the shooting at the Latin Quarter nightclub, and Barnes advised him to take Burress to New York Presbyterian. Police plan to subpoena cell phone records from Burress and Pierce, the New York Daily News reported in Thursday’s edition.

Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon said Barnes wanted Burress near the Hospital for Special Surgery, which is located next door, in case the injury required any orthopedic work by team physicians.

The team said Mark Drakos, a doctor from the Hospital for Special Surgery who has treated Giants players in the past, examined Burress after he was paged by New York Presbyterian. The team said it was a coincidence that Drakos was on call.

When Barnes arrived at the hospital, he asked to see Burress, by name, and was taken to the room where he was being treated. Barnes later learned Burress had been issued a hospital ID bracelet with an alias, and Hanlon said neither Barnes nor the Giants had any involvement with Burress being admitted under a false name.

While Barnes waited outside the room, an attending physician approached Barnes and said Burress had suffered no vascular injuries. She then returned to the treatment room. The team said Barnes did not know the doctor and was not in the room while she was treating Burress.

Dr. Josyann Abisaab has been suspended for not reporting Burress’ gunshot injury, as required by law. Abisaab, who’s affiliated with the hospital and specializes in internal and emergency medicine, could not be reached for comment.

Police still want to interview the people at the hospital who treated Burress and did not report the shooting.

They also want to talk to Pierce. Unlike Burress, who’s charged with illegal weapons possession, Pierce has yet to be charged.

Earlier Wednesday, Giants coach Tom Coughlin said there’s no need to consider potential punishment of Pierce right now.

“There is no doubt we’ll do the right thing,” Coughlin added, “and that’s no threat to the players, they know that.”

With the Giants (11-1) on the verge of clinching the NFC East and gaining a first-round playoff bye, teammates rallied behind Pierce.

“I don’t really think he did anything wrong,” veteran halfback Reuben Droughns said. “I wasn’t there, but I don’t think he was trying to hide anything. I think for the most part he was just being a teammate; he was more concerned about what was going on with a teammate than anything else.”

Even if the team makes the playoffs, Burress won’t be a part of it.

The team fined and suspended Burress for four games, the rest of the regular season, Tuesday. The Giants also placed him on the reserve non-football injury list, which means he won’t be back for the playoffs.

The NFL Players Association, however, said in a statement that it was reviewing the Giants’ actions and planned to file a grievance, saying Burress’ collective bargaining rights were violated.

“I had a conversation with Plaxico. He was very humble. He was remorseful,” Coughlin said. “Obviously that doesn’t change anything. But you have to understand that he is part of our team and our concern is with he and his family’s well being, and the ability of him to get through this circumstance and be healthy again.”

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