Giants third-round draft pick Chad Jones was fortunate that doctors were able to save his mangled left foot after an auto accident early Friday morning in New Orleans. Now Jones' agent is speaking optimistically of a possible return to football in 2011.

Rocky Arcenaux, who represents the former LSU safety, told Gannett Louisiana News Service he's encouraged about the prospect of his client returning to football a year from now in light of positive reports from Jones' doctors.

"I'm optimistic [about a 2011 return]," Arceneaux was quoted. "I would like to hope so. He's such a great athlete. I think if anybody could pull it off and come back from this, it would be Chad."

According to a Giants spokesman, player development director Charles Way arrived in Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday to monitor the situation and offer support.

His prediction of a comeback notwithstanding, Arcenaux also said it's possible Jones might have to switch from football to baseball if the stress of a contact sport proves too much for his injured lower leg. Jones was an outfielder and lefthanded relief pitcher at LSU and was a 50th-round draft pick by the Milwaukee Brewers in this year's draft.

Earlier Monday, a report in the Baton Rouge Advocate said Jones is "resting comfortably and making progress" in the LSU Trauma Center, where he was taken after the accident in New Orleans. The player's father, Al Jones Sr., released a statement through LSU in which he said: "Chad is extremely alert and he's in good spirits. His leg and foot are looking better. This is going to be a long process, but everything is positive right now. We are just beginning the healing process."

According to Al Jones, doctors avoided having to amputate his son's left foot when they were able to restore blood flow to the foot and ankle area. Jones' broken left tibia and fibula also were repaired in surgery.

Chad Jones was cited by New Orleans police for careless operation of a vehicle for the accident in which his Range Rover hit a metal pole, and he was administered toxicology tests. Arcenaux told USA Today the results of the tests have been received by the police department, but those findings have not been announced.

Fans interested in sending a get-well message to Jones may do so on the LSU football Facebook page at www.facebook.com/lsufootball.

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