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WR Hakeem Nicks aims to return soon


 Injured Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks said today he can envision returning to the field in mid-August.

"That sounds about right," Nicks said the team's training camp at the University at Albany. "That's what they're saying. I'm seeing a doctor today about it. Everything looks good, so we're just going to keep taking it day-to-day and hope for the best."

Nicks fractured the fifth metatarsal of his right foot during the team's second OTA (organized team activity) workout on May 24. Nicks suffered the injury early in practice as he was running a route during individual drills in the Timex Performance Center field house. The following day, prominent foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson surgically inserted a screw into Nicks' foot in Charlotte, N.C.

When the Giants reported to camp last week, Nicks was placed on the physically unable to perform list (PUP). He has been rehabbing his foot, attending meetings and watching practice. But those are hollow substitutes for joining his teammates on the field.

"You could say (I'm) antsy," Nicks said. "I'm ready to get back at it, and I feel like I need to be out there with the guys. I'm just following the instructions of the team doctors and the team trainers.

"It definitely gets tempting (because of his desire to play), there's no question about it. But, I'm just sticking to the script like they said. I definitely want to be out there, but we gotta do the right thing and be smart about it."

Nicks has made steady progress. He is running straight ahead and hopes to start cutting within the next few days.

"There are definitely no setbacks," Nicks said. "Everything is going the way we planned, so we're just sticking to the things that the doctors and trainers told us."

Nicks said he expects to have no timing issues with Eli Manning when he does return.

"I know Eli and he knows me," Nicks said. "It's just a matter of making sure that I'm in game shape, so I don't come back and have any other little nagging injuries."

Although he's entering his fourth season, Nicks is the elder statesman in a corps of receivers that includes Victor Cruz, Jerrel Jernigan, Ramses Barden and rookie Rueben Randle.

"I think we're a very talented group," Nicks said. "We can go out there, and do the same things, if not better than last season. Guys are focused, guys are determined. The guys are ready to take on a new role this year. Whether it be a leader, or coming in to make big time catches in clutch situations. Guys are looking forward to making a step."

They're also anticipating the return of Nicks, who is one of the team's most productive players. In 15 regular season games in 2011, Nicks caught 76 passes for 1,192 yards and seven touchdowns.  He had the finest postseason by a receiver in Giants history with 28 catches for 444 yards and four scores. In three seasons, the team's 2009 first-round draft choice has 202 receptions, which place him 20th on the Giants' career list.

"I want to pick up where I left off," Nicks said. "Contribute to the team in the best way possible. Just do the best that I can do."


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