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Giants' Saquon Barkley undergoes surgery to repair knee ligament

Saquon Barkley of the Giants is helped off

Saquon Barkley of the Giants is helped off the field with an injury against the Bears on Sept. 20 at Soldier Field in Chicago. Credit: TNS/Jonathan Daniel

Forty days after he tore his ACL in Week 2 of the season, Saquon Barkley underwent surgery to repair the ligament and his damaged meniscus in Los Angeles on Friday.

"It sounds like it was a positive deal," Giants coach Joe Judge said on Saturday. "Obviously we’ll know more as time goes on and his rehab starts. It seems like he is in good sprits and we’re looking forward to getting him back over here on this side of the country."

Barkley’s mother, Tonya Jackson, posted a picture of him in a hospital bed with two thumbs up on Friday afternoon. "Surgery was a success," she wrote.

There were multiple reasons why the surgery took place so long after the injury. First, doctors wanted Barkley to strengthen his leg muscles around the joint – known as pre-habbing – to allow him to dive into the actual post-surgery rehab more thoroughly. They also wanted to allow for the swelling in the knee, from peripheral damage to the MCL, to decrease.

Ultimately, though, it was the Dodgers who caused the biggest delay. Barkley chose to have Dr. Neal ElAttrache perform the surgery, but he is the surgeon and team physician for the Dodgers and with the team in the World Series bubble in Arlington, Texas, until they clinched he title on Tuesday night.

"I followed up with the captains (Friday) after practice and a number of them had spoken to him through texts and other ways," Judge said.

Barkley now has 10 or so months to be ready for opening day 2021.

Hernandez stays connected

Judge was unable to speak to how Will Hernandez is feeling since testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, but sources told Newsday the guard was feeling well while he is being monitored for symptoms.

"To me, no news is good news when it comes to players in situations like this," Judge said Saturday. "Hopefully he is doing well. We hope for a speedy recovery."

Judge did say that Hernandez has been taking part in team meetings via a virtual connection.

"That kind of gives him a window into the football part of it and keeps him connected to what we are doing so when he gets back he is not having a slower process learning what we’ve been doing since he’s been gone," Judge said. "Mentally he is involved. The physical separation is just something we all have to deal with."

The Giants will have to deal with it Monday with a new starter at left guard. Judge said they are still exploring various options, including the possibility of having rookie Shane Lemieux start to promoting Chad Slade from the practice squad to play there. Judge did indicate there they could have several configurations throughout the game.

"I think we’re OK to rotate guys through," Judge said. "I don’t ever have a hesitation of going ahead and rolling guys through the positions within a game. They all practice, they all prepare. To me, if they are not going to be ready to play, I shouldn’t have them at the game."

GIANT STEPS

RB Devonta Freeman (ankle) was ruled out for Monday’s game against the Buccaneers. Wayne Gallman will likely get the start at the position and veteran Alfred Morris is expected to be called up from the practice squad for depth … Despite the Monday game, Judge could not dismiss the possibility of the Giants being involved in a trade before the Tuesday deadline. Last week the Giants traded LB Markus Golden to the Cardinals. "I’m sure there are conversations going on throughout the league right now, that’s kind of no different than any other week that leads up to the trade deadline," Judge said. "Right now my concentration is on the Buccaneers."

New York Sports