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Smith, Nicks both on track for return in coming weeks

Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks will miss three weeks

Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks will miss three weeks with a leg injury, dealing another blow to an offense already missing some key players. (Nov. 14, 2010) Credit: Joe Rogate

The Giants’ two injured wide receivers are getting closer to a return.

Steve Smith was running routes and catching passes in the early stages of practice today while Hakeem Nicks is recovering from surgery to fix compartment syndrome in his left leg and is on course to resume running a week from today.

While Smith might be available for the Redskins game, he’ll likely be back a week later for the Vikings game. And Nicks said he’s hoping to be back for the Vikings game, but he’ll likely have to wait another week for the rematch with the Eagles.

Still, overall good news on the injury front. At a time in the season when most teams are dealing with losing players to injury, the Giants are now starting to focus on getting some back.

Smith said he’s wearing a brace under his pads to keep his right arm from swinging back too far and injuring his partially torn pectoral muscle. It limits his movements, but he does not think he’ll have to wear it for the rest of the season. “Just now, just for protection,” he said.

Smith said it was good to be back on the field, even if technically he wasn’t practicing because he didn’t take any team reps.

“Just trying to do little things now, get the confidence back and get mentally feeling good back,” Smith said. The mental challenge of playing after the injury is a big one, he said. “To know that you can fall and you can get hit or do this and you’ll be OK,” he said.

As for Nicks, he seems to just be waiting for the gruesome scar on his lower left leg to heal. It’s about an eight inch scar that is stitched together like the seams of a football. At this point, they don’t even want him to break a sweat because it might lead to an infection.

Nicks said he doesn’t know when the injury took place, but in the second quarter of the game against the Eagles he started to feel some tightness in the area.

“I didn’t pay it no attention,” Nicks said. “At the end of the game they noticed it a little bit and were like ‘Come in in the morning.’ I came in in the morning and they said ‘You have to take care of it.’”

Nicks thought he was going to the Hospital for Special Surgery for an MRI, since his calf had swollen up about two inches bigger than the other.

“They said, ‘You have to have immediate surgery.’ And I was like ‘Now?’ ‘Yeah now.’”

Compartment syndrome, if not treated, can lead to nerve and muscle damage. Nicks said he wasn’t told how far away from that point he was.

“They just said we caught it just in time,” he said.

New York Sports