Giants' Smith faces long, difficult rehab

Posted Dec. 19, 2010 @ 1:05 a.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

Giants WR Steve Smith, who will be a free agent after this season, might not be ready to play when the 2011 season begins. That's because he's facing a complex, multifaceted operation on his left knee. He will be on crutches for six weeks and faces a lengthy rehab that could keep him off the football field for nine months or more, even though head coach Tom Coughlin says he has been told Smith could be ready for the start of next season. Smith likely would have been re-signed to a new deal by now after his 2009 breakout season, but the uncertainty of the CBA has put the Giants in lockdown mode as far as extending players' contracts. The Giants are likely to keep Smith in their plans for next season, but he clearly has lost money. Nevertheless, the club saw through S Kenny Phillips' complex knee surgery last year, as he returned to the lineup in the preseason, and is confident that Smith can make a full recovery. The biggest difference, other than the injury itself, is that Phillips had an extra three months to rehab, having been injured in Week Two last season.