Thursday, August 14, 2008 Updated: August 15, 10:56 AM ET
Burress expects to be on field for Giants' season opener
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Plaxico Burress expects to be on the field for the New York Giants' season opener Sept. 4 against Washington -- bum ankle, flat feet and all.
Burress, who caught the Super Bowl-winning pass in the stunning upset of previously unbeaten New England in the title game, disclosed his foot condition Thursday and said he is basically learning how to run again at 31 with the aid of orthotics.
"It is something that I am going to have to get used to, basically getting my feet into the shape where they can tolerate it," Burress said before the Giants practiced at the University at Albany.
Three months ago, the team advised Burress to use orthotics to help reshape both feet. He said it took time to get fitted, and he did not start using them until recently.
"My feet are not in the same position they have been in for the first 30 years of my life, so it is kind of putting them in a new position and they are not comfortable with it," Burress said. "They are sore. I think I will be all right."
Burress went on the field in full pads Tuesday for the first time since training camp started July 25. He jogged a few patterns, caught a few passes and then watched from the side as teammates ran full-speed drills. He admitted he was a little sore the next day.
"That's one of the main reasons I am doing it," said Burress, who caught a career-high 12 touchdowns last season despite rarely practicing with the team because of a right ankle injury that he's still nursing. "I am getting there slowly but surely, but the season is coming around pretty quick and I am trying to get a sense of how I feel."
Burress said earlier in training camp that he would not practice until he was 100 percent.
While he has not backed off that statement, it is obvious he is going to start pushing himself a little more.
However, he seemed to rule out playing in a preseason game. The Giants (0-1) play the Cleveland Browns on Monday night at Giants Stadium.
"For me it is all about being healthy," Burress said. "I'm not worried about being in shape or catching the football, that's just what I do. It's more about me being healthy."
Burress is getting electric stimulation, massages and ice treatments three times a day to reduce the soreness and swelling in the ankle. He is excited about the progress.
He added the team is not pressuring him to practice. The nine-year veteran reports to the medical staff every day, and they tell him to go on how he feels.
When asked whether he will play in the season opener, Burress did not hesitate.
"I will be," he said.
He said nothing about being 100 percent either.
"If I am not, it will be pretty close. I'll be a lot further along than last year," Burress said. "The more I rest and the more I take care of my ankle and the more I take care of myself, I'll be closer to 100 percent. If I'm not, I'll be 95 or 96, which I will definitely take."
Burress also downplayed his contract situation. He refused to practice during a minicamp in June because he was unhappy that the team had not renegotiated a deal, which would pay him $3.25 million this season. He has two more years on that deal.
That annual salary is well below the roughly $9 million that Terrell Owens of Dallas and Randy Moss of New England make.
Giants general manager Jerry Reese hopes to give Burress a new deal before the season starts.
"Like I said, those things will take care of themselves," Burress said. "My thing right now is to get healthy. If it was the case with the contract, I would not be out there. It's all about me getting healthy and getting back to 100 percent. You know Jerry said what he said. I think it will happen."