Plaxico Burress is planning to return to the NFL after serving a two-year prison sentence on a weapons charge.
"When I get out, I'll be 33, not 43," Burress said in a sports news station interview broadcast Tuesday night. "I'll still be able to run and catch. I'll still have the God-given ability to snag footballs; that's what I love to do. Of course, I want to play again."
The former Giants receiver pleaded guilty last week to attempted criminal possession of a weapon after accidentally shooting himself in the thigh at a Manhattan nightclub last November. He accepted a two-year prison term and is to be sentenced Sept. 22.
With prison just weeks away, he acknowledged he's especially anxious about being separated from his family.
"I think that will be the toughest thing for me, you know, being away from my family and my son," said Burress, who broke down in tears talking about his wife and son. "I want to be with my wife. She's pregnant; she's due on Thanksgiving Day. I'm having a baby girl. And I won't even be there for that."
Burress said he wasn't sure what to expect but has spoken about it with Michael Vick, who served 18 months in federal prison for his role in running a dogfighting operation.
"He said: 'You'll get through it, I went through it. You'll get through it, there will be better days,"' Burress recalled.
"Who wants to go to prison? Nobody," Burress said. "Like I said, I got myself into a situation and, you know, I got to deal with the consequences for it."
He said his .40-calibre Glock fired after he missed a step walking up stairs at the Latin Quarter Club in Manhattan. The gun began to slide down his pant leg, and Burress said he accidentally pulled the trigger through his pants when he tried to stop the gun from hitting the ground.
Burress said he didn't know whether he would live or die in the moments after the shooting.
"The first thing that went through my mind was I don't want to bleed to death, and I just want to see my family," Burress said. "My situation could have been a lot worse. It (the gun) could have went off and killed somebody or killed myself. I have to wake up every morning and look at my leg, and I have a hole in my leg. I almost killed my own self, and I got to go to prison for almost killing my own self."
He said he did not know New York City law required a mandatory 3 1/2-year prison sentence for carrying an unlicensed gun.
"If I did know that, there was no way I would have put myself in that situation," Burress said.
That November night Burress said he was concerned for his safety because teammate Steve Smith had been held up at gunpoint earlier in the week, and Burress and teammate Antonio Pierce were going to pick up halfback Ahmad Bradshaw at the same complex.
Still, after arriving at the club, Burress said he thought twice about taking the gun inside.
"I knew I had that gun on me and I stepped out of the car and I was like, maybe I should leave it in the car," he said. "I second-guessed myself right then, and that decision right then got me to where I am right now."
That's a man headed to prison just 18 months after catching the game-winning touchdown against the previously unbeaten New England Patriots in the final minute of the Super Bowl.
"Four or five years from now, down the road, I will look back on it and say I was reckless, I made a very bad decision and I am suffering major consequences from it," Burress said. "I took away what I love to do most, which is play football, and I lost my job. That's where I am now."
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