Geoff Schwartz started a few new chapters in 2014.
He married his longtime girlfriend, signed with the Giants and witnessed the birth of their first child on his 28th birthday.
But while the family got off to a best-selling start, it was the other part that didn't produce many pages. It wasn't because of writer's block. In the NFL, it's much more painful.
The 6-foot-6, 340-pound offensive lineman dislocated his toe in a preseason game against the Jets and missed the first 11 weeks of the year. He returned on Nov. 23 only to suffer a season-ending ankle injury in the first quarter the following week.
Schwartz underwent surgery a few days later.
"Then it was just kind of a waiting game, waiting for the swelling to go down," Schwartz told Giants.com last week at a gym and physical therapy center in Phoenix, Ariz. "I waited two weeks. I got in my cast, I was in a boot, I was non-weight-bearing for six weeks. Thankfully my wife is very helpful because being non-weight-bearing is a pain, especially with a young child."
Luckily for Schwartz, his bride, Meridith, is also a nurse. And as their baby, Alex, continued to grow and strengthen, so did the father.
Once the initial recovery phase was over, Schwartz picked up his rehab in Charlotte, where he began his NFL career with the Panthers and met Meridith, and had regular checkups back at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, N.J.
Photos of OL Geoff Schwartz's road to return
After about 12 weeks, Schwartz had the pins removed, and then he was full-go and off to Arizona.
"I'm feeling strong," Schwartz said. "I'm feeling good. It's good to kind of get some of that movement back in my ankle and feel like a football player again."
Schwartz will really start to feel like his old self next week when the Giants report for their voluntary offseason workout program on April 20.
"We definitely have a lot to build on from last year," Schwartz said. "I know the record doesn't show what progress we made, especially on the offensive side of the ball. We started playing really well by the end of the season and it's good to see that progress continue and that starts with getting back there on April 20th and getting going and learning and becoming a group again. I know I'm excited. I talk to the guys a lot, and they're excited to get going."
Photos of the Giants 2015 official roster