Super Bowl hero Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself in the right thigh and spent the night in the hospital, another dramatic turn in a tumultuous season in which the star New York Giants receiver has been fined and suspended.
The Giants said the shooting happened Friday night and he was released from the hospital early Saturday. The team did not say which hospital Burress went to or how badly he was injured.
However, a team official told The Associated Press that Burress shot himself in a nightclub. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the team was still trying to sort out all the facts.
"Our primary concern is for Plaxico's health and well-being, and given the circumstances, we are relieved to say he was released from a New York City hospital," the Giants said in a statement.
New York City police said they were investigating whether the incident took place at Latin Quarter, a sprawling 15,000-square-foot, two-story restaurant and club located in the Radisson Lexington Hotel in midtown Manhattan.
Phone messages and an e-mail left at the nightclub were not immediately returned.
Police added that they have not spoken to Burress or recovered the gun used in the shooting.
Newsday reported Burress has a concealed weapon permit from the state of Florida that expired in May 2008. It is unclear if the permit was renewed; such a license can be renewed up to six months beyond the expiration date in accordance with section 790.06(11)(a) of Florida Statutes.
However, the states of New York and New Jersey do not recognize permits from Florida, so Burress could be charged in the incident.
The NFL also is likely to investigate whether Burress violated its Personal Conduct Policy, which might lead to a suspension.
The Giants, who are 10-1 heading into Sunday's game at Washington, said they have been in contact with the 31-year-old receiver since the shooting and have discussed the matter with NFL security.
"This incident could become a matter for law enforcement officials, and because of that we have no comment on any of the details," the team said.
Repeated phones calls to Burress' home and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, were not immediately returned.
Added NFL spokesman Joe Browne: "We are gathering information, just like everyone else."
Burress was suspended for a game against Seattle on Oct. 5 and fined $117,500 for missing a team meeting and failing to notify the team of his absence. He said he had a family emergency.
He also was fined $45,000 by the NFL for his conduct during an Oct. 19 game against 49ers in which he abused an official and tossed a ball into the stands.
"Like I said, I am human," Burress said last month in discussing his runs-ins with the team. "I have made some mistakes. I haven't made the best of decisions, I am aware of that, and I am the first one to look myself in the mirror, be honest with myself, and say that."
"But as far as me going out and playing hard, I am going to keep going out and competing," he added. "Like I said, I just keep going out and doing what is asked of me on the football field, and in whatever that role may be I hope I go out and fulfill it."
While the team can find it tough handling Burress, he is clearly a playmaker who poses a threat to opponents.
Burress caught the winning pass in the Giants' Super Bowl victory against the New England Patriots, capping a season in which he caught a career-high 12 touchdowns. He was belatedly rewarded, signing a five-year, $35 million contract hours before the season opened in September.
The signing came after an unsettling offseason during which Burress was fined $25,000 for refusing to practice during a mandatory minicamp in June. He also missed most of training camp at the University at Albany with a sprained ankle. He insisted the injury - not his contract - kept him off the field.
Despite a lack of practice, Burress started in the opener against Washington and caught 10 passes for 133 yards. The following week, he had five catches for 81 yards and a touchdown in a win over St. Louis.
The rest of the season has not been as productive. The most passes he has caught in any game since is four in a loss to Cleveland on Oct. 13, the game following his suspension.
Burress has 35 catches for 454 yards and four touchdowns in a season in which he has constantly drawn double coverage. His streak of receptions in 115 consecutive games ended last week in Arizona. He aggravated his hamstring injury during the first series and did not return.
Signed as a free agent in 2005, Burress had caught a pass in all 56 previous games in which he had played for the Giants.