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Steve Smith surgery less complex than anticipated

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) Credit: AP

The complex surgery Steve Smith needed to repair his left knee was a little less daunting than expected.

While doctors first thought they would have to use a mosaicplasty to repair the articular cartilage injury to his left knee – essentially a cartilage transplant from one area of his knee to another – they were able to complete the procedure using only microfracture surgery, according to a source familiar with the procedure.

Smith still faces a long rehabilitation and the start of the 2011 season could still be in jeopardy for him. He’ll be on crutches keeping weight off the leg for six weeks before beginning rehab. Smith will also be a free agent after this season unless the Giants sign him or put a franchise tag on him.

Safety Kenny Phillips underwent microfracture surgery to repair an arthritic condition in his knee in September 2009 and was not cleared to play fully until the start of the 2010 season.

Smith, a fourth-year receiver who went to the Pro Bowl in 2009, injured the posterior lateral femoral condyle of his left knee when he was tackled awkwardly against the Vikings in Detroit last week. That was his first game back after missing four with a pectoral muscle injury.

New York Sports