Cro won't need surgery, expects to rebound

January, 30, 2014
Jan 30
3:55
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie will not undergo surgery on his hip, and barring any setbacks, he expects to be among the game's elite corners once again.

Said Cromartie: "I will be better than I was in 2012."

Cromartie, speaking at Jets House in Manhattan on Thursday, said he saw a hip specialist about two to three weeks ago and it was determined he would not need surgery.

The 29-year-old fractured his hip in 2008 with San Diego, and it was problematic throughout this past season, even forcing him to leave a Nov. 24 loss to Baltimore. Cromartie described his injury as a hip flexor strain, and said there is nothing wrong with the hip joint. While he made the Pro Bowl, the hip injury contributed to a down year for Cromartie.

"It was rough just from the standpoint [of] dealing with my hip flexor injury and trying to figure out what we got to try to do," Cromartie said about his up-and-down 2013 season. "I think it was frustrating for me just because I wasn't able to play at a level I needed to play at."

The veteran said he's been rehabbing for about three weeks, and he expects to be 100 percent by the end of February. His rehab focuses on flexibility and strengthening the area around the hip.

"I feel good," Cromartie said. "First time since about the second week of the preseason that I feel close to 100 percent."

As Cromartie rehabs for the upcoming season, he's still unsure which team he will be playing for. While he's still under contract with the Jets, his $14.98 million cap hit combined with his age and declining play in 2013 could make the Jets blink.

Cromartie said recently that he expects the Jets will cut him. The Jets are thin at cornerback, although 2013 first-round pick Dee Milliner finished strong.

"I think I [will be cut]," Cromartie told "Pro Football Talk" on NBC Sports Network earlier this month. "Just because my cap number is very high. And I had one of the worst seasons of my career this past year. I was banged up. I got hurt in Week 2, but that's not an excuse."

Cromartie, who just completed his fourth season with the Jets, said he has not talked with the team about his contract, and he will leave that up to his agents. His focus is on getting back to full strength.

"I want to be back. At the end of the day it's a business, and that's how I treat it," Cromartie said. "My business is to make sure my body is as healthy as possible, because I got to make sure that if anything goes wrong, that if it goes the opposite way [and] I'm not here, I'm healthy for the next team."

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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