Jay Alford is in a tough spot in this training camp. After missing an entire year following ACL surgery, he needs reps to refine his timing. But because he’s coming off that surgery and had a few minor setbacks during the spring, the Giants are limiting his reps.

“Right now, because of their safety precautions, I’m not getting as many reps as I want to,” he said yesterday. “Even though I want to be out there, it’s rough right now.”

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A year ago Alford seemed primed to crack the starting lineup with Fred Robbins and Barry Cofield both coming off surgeries and Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard just getting acclimated to their new team. Then a twist of the knee in the second preseason game ended his season.

Alford had been participating in all of the practices, but as of today the Giants pulled him back to one practice per day. “He’s sore and that’s to be expected,” Tom Coughlin said. “The next thing after the doctor discovers the soreness is probably to slow him down. So that’s what they’re doing.”

Coughlin said he’s hoping that Alford can get back to the form he showed in last year’s camp. Alford seemed to think he was close to that.

“I talked to Kiwi, Tuck, Osi, they all say it took a little time for them to get back to where they were, but it came back,” he said of other Giants defensive linemen who missed significant time with injuries. “Right now it’s just getting back into the groove of things. My timing is a little off, but I feel it coming back.”