NEW ORLEANS -- Ahmad Bradshaw is recovering from a surgery he believes he should have had a year ago.
The Giants running back is at the Super Bowl wearing a protective boot and maneuvering through crowds on a scooter after having a three-year-old screw removed from his right foot and a new screw inserted to help support two fractures.
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The second fracture occurred in the 2011 season, but instead of surgery, Bradshaw tried a treatment of injecting stem cells into the area to promote bone growth last March.
"I just went through too much this year," Bradshaw said after signing autographs for fans at the NFL Experience for more than an hour. "The stem cell [treatment] wore off last year and I was able to fight through it all year and get the screw out."
Bradshaw missed three games and was unable to finish two others in 2012. He said the stem cell treatment worked until about six weeks into the season.
"We thought the stem cells would eventually keep going," he said. "What I should have done instead of getting the stem cell last year was get the old screw out and put a new screw in, just like I did [this year] . . . It is something that I should have gotten last year."
He's already nearly two weeks into his 10-week recovery period and he said there should be no problems with offseason programs or training camp, although the Giants will surely monitor and limit his participation.
That is, assuming he is a Giant. Bradshaw has speculated openly that he might not be back in 2013.
He still has two seasons left in his contract and a reasonable base salary of $3.75 million for 2013, but the chronic injuries to his feet are a red flag. The Giants also have David Wilson, last year's first-round pick, and Andre Brown in their backfield. Brown suffered a broken fibula in November but recently tweeted that he had completed his rehab.
"I can't say it's a concern, but there's always a chance of me not being back next year," Bradshaw said Saturday. "With David there, Andre, now they may have what they're looking for and they may be light on cash. I haven't heard anything and they haven't said anything, which is a good sign. I hope to be a Giant no matter what, but you never know what happens."