- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –- Hakeem Nicks hopes to avoid surgery on a balky knee that probably could have used up to eight weeks of rest this season according to the receiver.
“We’re still talking right now about the details of the injuries,” Nicks said.
Nicks played through pain in his knee after injuring it in the second game of the season against Tampa Bay. Already playing with pain in his surgically repaired foot, Nicks missed the next three games and revealed that the medical staff told him initially the knee injury could require up to two months of rest.
“It was kind of up in the air,” Nicks said. “I think initially they were talking six-to-eight weeks and then they told me as soon as two weeks and the longest eight weeks. Dealing with injuries in the past, I always had a knack for coming back fast.
“I felt like I tried,” said Nicks, who experienced swelling in his knee throughout parts of the season. “It got better and lightened up as the year went on, but I never quite got back to myself.”
Nicks, who visibly was hobbled throughout the season, finished his fourth season with a career-low 692 yards receiving and three touchdowns in 13 games. He had 53 receptions but none in the final two games. He played just one snap during Sunday’s season-finale victory over Philadelphia while Rueben Randle was featured in his place.
Nicks said he did not risk further damage to his knee by playing on it.
“I didn’t make it worse,” Nicks said. “It was just a situation where I was just gutting it out and I wanted to play for the team and for myself. It was a situation where I felt like if I was sitting I would have been miserable, so I felt like if I was just out there trying to give it whatever I had, everything would work out.”
Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin loved seeing Nicks gutting it out. But Manning conceded that the lack of practice reps with his top receiver affected the offense’s effectiveness.
“Hakeem had great toughness, wanted to be out there,” Manning said. “But, since really Week 3, not having him able to practice, and be at full speed and work on things, it’s tough.
“He’ll tell you that he just wasn’t quite the same playmaker that we have become used to when he can play,” Manning said. “So, I told him that we have to get him healthy. It just wasn’t that simple this year, and it obviously can affect an offense when one of your number one receivers is not playing to the level that we know he can, because of an injury.”
Nicks is eager to remind people of what he can do when healthy.
“I can’t wait,” Nicks said. “After I heal up, as soon as mid-February gets here, I’m going to train and I’m ready to get after it.”