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Joe Thomas says decision about future will come down to his overall health

Nate Ulrich, Akron Beacon Journal on

Published in Basketball

BEREA, Ohio -- Browns 10-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas received some advice from former NFL center Kevin Mawae about recovering from the season-ending torn triceps tendon he suffered Oct. 22 against the Tennessee Titans.

Mawae, an eight-time Pro Bowler who suffered two torn triceps tendons during his career, sent Thomas a direct message on Twitter.

"Basically the two things (Mawae told me) were, 'You can come back from this,' and, 'Just take it slow,'?" Thomas said Thursday.

The ability of Thomas to recover from the serious injury to his left arm -- and his overall health after 11 seasons in the league -- will be the most important factors the future hall of famer will consider when he decides after this season whether to attempt a comeback or retire.

Thomas reiterated he'll ask himself if he's still able to play at a high level, if he's healthy enough and if he still loves the game as he figures out his future.

"I definitely still love the game, and I'm not ready to walk away from it healthy, per se," Thomas said. "But, to me, when I look at the three factors -- are you playing well, are you healthy and do you love it? -- I feel like I was playing well, and I still loved it. And the question it's going to come down to is am I feeling like, from a personal health standpoint, is it something that I can do for another year?"

Thomas, 32, wasn't just referring to how well his triceps recovers, either.

"I've obviously had a lot of knee issues over the years and stuff that's not fixable at this point with modern medicine," Thomas said. "... Obviously, the whole body will come into play when you make that decision."

Thomas admitted the state of the Browns could be another factor.

"If I want to come back, if I can come back, is it going to be for trying to pursue a championship or are we trying to pursue a playoff berth or are we trying to pursue a first pick overall?" Thomas said. "Those are all things that could play into that decision."

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