Drew Brees' rib and lung injuries have turned out to be more serious than first thought with it being revealed on Saturday that the New Orleans Saints star has 11 fractured ribs, US media reported.
That number is up from the original diagnosis of five broken ribs for quarterback Brees, who also has a collapsed lung, US sports broadcaster ESPN reported. Additional tests showed Brees has eight broken ribs on the left side and three on the right.
Brees exited last week's win against the San Francisco 49ers at halftime with what the Saints called a rib injury, suffered in a second-quarter sack by Kentavius Street that was ruled roughing the passer. Doctors also think he might have sustained some of his injuries in an earlier game but continued to play.
The Saints officially placed Brees on their injured list on Friday. He was originally expected to miss three games but the latest medical update could see him stay out longer.
Brees, 40, is the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards and touchdown passes. But the Saints went 5-0 without their star signal-caller last season as he recovered from a torn ligament in his throwing hand.
The Saints, who top the NFC South Division at 7-2, host the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Taysom Hill will get the starting nod at quarterback ahead of Jameis Winston.