Eli Manning MRI shows bruised heel, arch

Eli Manning looks on during pregame warmups against Eli Manning looks on during pregame warmups against the Chiefs on Sunday. Manning left the game in the fourth quarter with a foot injury. Photo Credit: Getty Images

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An MRI on the right heel of Eli Manning has done little to change the quarterback's outlook. It just gave his injury a fancy name.

Test results showed that Manning has an injury to the plantar fascia and soreness and swelling in the heel and arch area on the bottom of his foot.

Plantar fasciitis? No, but funny you should mention that. Manning has been playing with plantar fasciitis for most of the season, but the Giants consider this latest injury suffered Sunday to be separate from that condition.

"[The MRI] didn't really come back with anything new, it just kind of shows where the inflammation is," Manning said in an interview with 1050 ESPN Radio late Monday afternoon. "I just have to take it day by day. There's no secret to healing this. Just ice and time and staying off of it. Hopefully, I'll feel better tomorrow and just get better each day."

Manning said team physician Russ Warren told him he's unlikely to injure the plantar fascia any further and that his case is not an extreme. "It's not as serious an injury as he's seen before where the whole foot is hurting," Manning said. "It's just kind of a portion of it."

Plantar fasciitis is irritation and swelling of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. It sometimes can nag a player for a year or more and in some cases has caused football players to be put on injured reserve. But it has not slowed Manning in the first four weeks of the season.

As for this direct injury to the plantar fascia, Manning said there is no real time frame on a recovery, and that even if there was, it probably wouldn't matter.

"Last time with the shoulder [separated in 2007] he said, 'You're going to be out a month' and I played the next week," Manning said. "There is no time frame. It's really just how fast you can heal and see how you feel these next couple of days."

Still, Manning's expectations for a quick recovery might have been slightly dampened by the results of the MRI and his meeting with team doctors. Monday afternoon, before those tests, he said his goal was "by Wednesday to be practicing and get out there and not be restricted." In the radio interview, he amended that. "My goal is to get back to where I can do some stuff Wednesday in practice," he said.

The injury occurred on a fourth-quarter pass to Steve Smith. Manning completed a play-action fake to the left, a maneuver that required him to spin back and throw his body open to put himself in position to throw the ball.

"When I hit that last step with my right foot, I felt a little strain, and that's what made my foot pop up in the air," Manning said of the reflexive skip he made at the back of his drop. It literally was a knee-jerk reaction.

Manning managed to make a step forward and throw the deep ball to Smith, which was nearly completed, although he did fall to the ground while doing so.

"The way it occurred and looked on film, I've had a few comments today," Manning said of teammates razzing him over the awkwardness of the play. "Well deserved. I know it didn't look real pretty. But we almost had a big play out of it."

The next snap was a big play, a screen pass to Hakeem Nicks for a 54-yard touchdown. Manning headed off the field before Nicks even reached the end zone. Could he have returned?

"I'm not sure if I know that answer," he said. "My gut tells me I would have tried to stay in and play whether I got taped up or had something to take away the pain."

Manning said his goal is to be back Wednesday, but the real goal is to be on the field Sunday against the Raiders. Manning has played in 75 straight regular-season games and an additional seven playoff games. This injury could put an end to the streak.

"I want to play," Manning said, "but I have to be able to play well."

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