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Sean Payton frustrated with timing of Michael Thomas’ surgery

Dec 22, 2019; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton slap hands before the game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 22, 2019; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton slap hands before the game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton expressed his frustration Wednesday that star wideout Michael Thomas did not undergo surgery on his ankle earlier in the offseason.

Thomas reportedly will miss the start of the 2021 season as he recovers from surgery on an ankle injury that has plagued him for some time. He had the surgery in June, and reports said his recommended rehab period is four months.

“It appears we’re going to have to spend some time without (Thomas),” Payton told reporters Wednesday.

“It’s disappointing and we’ll work through it with the other players that are here. The surgery took place, and obviously we would’ve liked that to have happened earlier than later — and quite honestly it should have.”

Asked if there was a lack of communication between the Saints and Thomas’ camps, Payton only replied, “Nope, I’m gonna leave it at that.”

Thomas, 28, is a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection. He set a single-season record in 2019 with 149 receptions for a league-best 1,725 yards.

But he was injured in the 2020 season opener and ended up with just 40 catches for 438 yards and zero touchdowns in seven games.

Thomas signed a five-year, $96.3 million contract extension in 2019. He is due to earn $12.6 million in 2021 between base salary and a restructured bonus.

–Field Level Media