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Vilma Returns For Temporary Restraining Order Hearing Against NFL

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File photo of New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma. (credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

File photo of New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma. (credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Suspended Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma goes back to federal court on Thursday, seeking a temporary restraining order that would allow him to return to work while his lawsuit against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is pending.

Goodell suspended Vilma for the entire season for what the NFL has said was his leading role in a player-funded bounty program that paid cash bonuses to Saints defensive players for hits that injured opponents.

Vilma says he never paid into a pool for injuries or tried to injure another player, and he says Goodell’s decision to suspend him has damaged his reputation and undermined his ability to make a living playing pro football.

Vilma also says he needs to return to work immediately to continue rehabilitation on his surgically repaired left knee.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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