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Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos runs with the ball against Mark Anderson #95 and Brandon Deaderick #71 of the New England Patriots during their AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 14, 2012 in Foxboro, Mass.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos runs with the ball against Mark Anderson #95 and Brandon Deaderick #71 of the New England Patriots during their AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 14, 2012 in Foxboro, Mass. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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Written by Dr. Dave Hnida CBS4 Medical EditorTim Tebow and the Broncos were pounded pretty hard by the Pats last weekend, but apparently Tim Tebow took an extra shot that would have benched a mere mortal.

In the third quarter Tebow became the middle of a 600 pound sandwich — stuffed by a couple of large Patriots who threw the Tebow sandwich to the ground, then squished him for good measure.

The result wasn’t pretty, but it was pretty painful. So much so, I’m really surprised the guy gutted it out and stayed in the game.

You see, when Tebow landed, he tore the piece of cartilage that connects a rib in the front of his chest to the breastbone (sternum), as well as bruising part of his lung — meaning it bled and turned black and blue. He even got some fluid buildup in the lining of the chest.

If you’ve ever hurt your ribs, you know it’s impossible to get comfortable in any position since the ribs are being compressed whether you sit, stand, lie, or simply breathe. But it wasn’t until Tebow had a couple of sleepless nights after the game that he finally got checked out.

RELATED: Tebow Played Through Injuries In Playoff Loss

An MRI showed the damage. The bad news is that these things hurt like nobody’s business, and if the Broncos had advanced in the playoffs it’s likely Tebow wouldn’t have been able to play. In fact, if he’s picked as  Pro Bowl alternate, he’s probably out of that game.

The good news is that the lung bruise will heal. The fluid will be absorbed by the body. He will not require surgery. The lung didn’t get punctured and collapse.

It just HURTS.

But rest, heat, ultrasound, and a gradual stretching program should get him back to normal within 4-6 weeks.

Then again, knowing what this guy played through, he probably would say he’d be ready in 4 to 6 hours.

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