NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Marques Colston, the New Orleans Saints' top receiver during the past two seasons, had surgery on his left thumb and will miss four to six weeks.

Colston said he had a torn ligament resulting from a play Sunday when he reached forward to make a catch while taking a helmet-first hit to his hands from Ronde Barber.

"I don't know if my thumb just got caught in an awkward position. It just bent all the way backward," said Colston, who was wearing a cast over his left hand. "I guess the only silver lining is that I'm going to have a chance to come back and play a good portion of the season and hopefully be back in time for that playoff push."

Colston tried to continue playing with the injury during the Saints' 24-20 victory over Tampa Bay, but finished with only three catches for 26 yards. He made one catch after the injury.

Colston was a seventh-round draft choice out of Hofstra in 2006. At 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, he provides quarterback Drew Brees a big target and emerged as one of Brees' favorite receivers during his rookie year. Colston has compiled 2,241 yards receiving for 19 touchdowns in his first two seasons. His 168 catches are more than any NFL receiver has had through only two seasons. During the summer, Colston agreed to a three-year contract extension that could keep him in New Orleans through the 2011 season.

Also, defensive tackle Hollis Thomas, a 12-year veteran who already was expected to miss the first six weeks of the season with a torn triceps, has been placed on injured reserve, ending his season. He spent the past two seasons with the Saints. Thomas, a 12-year veteran, has spent the past two seasons, played in 30 games with the Saints and started in 26. Last season, he was credited with 58 total tackles and 3 1/2 sacks.