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Smith has "a long haul"

New York Giants wide receiver Steve Smith celebrates

New York Giants wide receiver Steve Smith celebrates his first-half touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys. (Oct. 25, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

Tom Coughlin said it was good to see Steve Smith in recent days, but it does not sound as if the free agent wide receiver is close to being able to contribute in the early stages of the season. The Giants have an offer on the table for Smith but the two sides have not agreed to any terms.

"It went well,” Coughlin said of Smith’s visit, which included an inspection by the team’s medical staff. “He seemed really upbeat, the guys were excited to see him … It’s going to be kind of a long haul for Steve, so hopefully we can cut through some of that and see where it goes. It was good, though.”

Smith had microfracture knee surgery in December and has been rehabilitating since, mostly in California. There is a chance Smith could miss the entire 2011 season, although Coughlin didn’t seem to think that was the case.

“As far as I know it’s August and he’s got a ways to go,” Coughlin said. “He’s feeling good, feeling better, doing more, progressing better."

The geography of Smith’s rehab might have been different without a lockout, but Coughlin said having the team’s trainers able to work with Smith would not have sped up his recovery.

"He was training, he was working, he was rehabbing hard," Coughlin said.

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