So what’s it like for Hakeem Nicks to stand on the sideline and watch his team practice without him? Is he bored? Frustrated? Disappointed?
“You could say ‘antsy,’” Nicks said yesterday, making his first comments of a training camp that began and continues with him on the PUP list. “I am ready to get back at it. I feel like I need to be out there with the guys, but following the team doctors and trainers.”
That means another few weeks of antsy watching. Nick broke a bone in his foot during an OTA in late May and had surgery the following day. At the time the Giants said it would take him 12 weeks to return. That timeline puts him at mid-August, right when the team breaks camp in Albany and gets ready to play the Jets in the second preseason game. Although Nicks – who, as we all heard, is a fast healer – tried to be back in time for the start of camp and there were some who thought he would be able to do it, the Giants are tugging at the leash to keep him on their projected track. They want him ready for the Sept. 5 opener, not training camp or a preseason game.
“It definitely gets tempting,” Nicks said of wanting to be on the field, “but sticking to the script like they said. I definitely want to be out there but go to do the right thing and be smart about it and I don’t want to prolong this injury.”
Nicks said he has had no setbacks. He’s not in any pain. He’s not concerned with his conditioning, nor is he worried about losing time bonding with Eli Manning. He is doing some running on the side. And when he does return, he expects to pick up right where he left off.
“Nothing less,” he said of wanting to match his successful 2011 season. “Contribute to the team the best way possible. Do what I need to do to be the best that I can be.”