Following the news that Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul had injured his hand while setting off fireworks on the Fourth of July, reports were mixed on the severity of the damage. Some raised the possibility of an amputation, while others claimed that while there was nerve damage and skin grafts involved, the player and team had “dodged a bullet.”

Now it appears we have definitive proof that Pierre-Paul did, indeed, have the index finger on his right hand amputated, among other procedures, on Wednesday. And it came in the form of the player’s actual medical record, which was tweeted out by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

According to NJ.com, the Giants were not aware of the amputation until Schefter’s tweet. The ESPN reporter then tweeted that Pierre-Paul could be back on the field “sooner than people think,” but it remains to be seen how this news affects ongoing contract negotiations between the player and the team.

The Giants had pulled a $60 million, long-term deal off the table in the wake of the preliminary reports that Pierre-Paul had injured himself in some way. Earlier on Wednesday, Pro Football Talk reported that the defensive end had refused to meet with a pair of team emissaries, trainer Ronnie Barnes and special assistant (and former linebacker) Jessie Armstead, when they arrived in Miami, hoping to see Pierre-Paul at his hospital.

What struck many as at least as shocking as the news of the amputation were the facts that Schefter was able to obtain Pierre-Paul’s medical record and decided to tweet it out. While what the reporter did was legal, it appears that someone at the medical facility violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy Rule.

In fact, soon after Schefter’s tweet, the hashtag #HIPAA began trending on Twitter.

Pro Football Talk reported that Pierre-Paul’s camp is strongly considering a lawsuit against the medical facility, under Florida privacy laws, and possibly against ESPN.

New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is the second NFL player this year to have a finger amputated after an injury caused by a Fourth of July firework. (Reuters)