Giants Thomas says knee rehab might take 3-8 weeks
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas might become a part of NFL history in a way he never sought.
Speaking to the media for the first time since "aggravating" his surgically repaired right anterior cruciate ligament, Thomas said Tuesday he might need anywhere from three to eight weeks before he is ready to get back on the field.
With the season opener against Dallas just under a month away, Thomas could be one of the first players to benefit from the NFL's new rules on injured reserve, which will allow a team to place one player on that list after the 53-man roster is decided, then bring him back later in the season.
In the past, players put on IR were lost for the season.
General manager Jerry Reese said Thomas might be the Giants' candidate for the new IR rule, but Thomas first needs to prove he can play again after missing last season with his ACL injury, then aggravating it after three days of training camp.
The Giants' leading tackler in 2009 and '10 and their projected starter this season, Thomas was confident about his chances of playing again after getting medical opinions from three orthopedic surgeons. The consensus was to rehab the knee and go from there.
"Like I said, there's no timeline on it. It's all based on my knee, how it feels over time," Thomas said Wednesday after returning to the Giants' training camp at the University at Albany. "We really haven't set forth a plan for how we're going to attack it. But right now, I'm just building up everything around it."
Thomas hurt his knee when he slipped during practice on July 29 and it swelled the following day. Initially, the fear was his season and possibly his career might be over with a third ACL injury. The Giants' medical staff initially said he injured his ACL.
However, Dr. Arthur Ting in California examined Thomas and felt the ACL was intact. Dr. James Andrews in Florida concurred.
"The MRI came out negative, but, you know, it just felt a little bit weird," Thomas said. "We all agreed that Dr. Andrews would pretty much have the last word and I went to see him and he didn't see a problem with it."
His flight back to New York was one of the first times he relaxed after the injury.
"Oh, just relief," Thomas said of his feelings. "It still hasn't hit me yet. It's still frustration. I prepared for this day, but God has a plan for me and it's all about timing, and I have full belief in (trainer) Ronnie Barnes and his staff that they going to take care of me and get me ready for my return."