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Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Jones faces recovery with right focus

By Jane McManus
ESPNNewYork.com

Giants rookie Chad Jones is set to have several more surgeries to his left leg at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

"Since he will undergo several additional procedures over the next few weeks, no prognosis has been given," said Dr. Russell Warren, surgeon-in-chief at HSS and the Giants' team physician. "Chad has been removed from intensive care. He will require additional orthopedic, neurological, vascular, orthopedic and plastic surgery care for his left foot and leg over the next several weeks."

The team's third-round pick out of LSU was injured when his black SUV hit a pole in New Orleans on June 23.

The Giants had Jones, who could have played professional baseball or football, transferred to the Upper East Side hospital for skin grafts and additional procedures even though it is unclear if he will ever play football for the team. He had signed a four-year deal that included a $826,000 signing bonus.

Jones received an outpouring of sympathy from teammates, who have continued to inquire about his progress. Justin Tuck, who was in Ridgewood, N.J., Wednesday shooting a commercial for EA Sports "Madden NFL 11," said he's been talking to team personnel about the safety.

"I know the Giants," Tuck said. "We're going to do our best to make sure he sees all the best doctors, make sure he has the best chance of this recovery and then after that see what happens."

Tuck said there has been a lot of emphasis on whether Jones will be able to come back and play football. Jones suffered extensive damage, and there was a serious question if doctors would be able to save the leg immediately after the injury.

"The small time I had the opportunity to talk with Chad in the locker room, he seems to be an upbeat guy, and from everything I've read and everything I've heard, he seems to be optimistic about walking running and playing again," Tuck said. "That's the No. 1 battle. If you can keep it together mentally in situations like that, it gives you a better chance of making it through. Our prayers are with him and his family and, regardless of whether he plays football again or not, wishing him a successful life. I think sometimes when this happens to an athlete or an actor or someone in the spotlight, they always think about what his career will be like.

"That's not the important thing."

After having the medical procedures in New York, Jones will return to Baton Rouge, La., to rehabilitate. The Giants will then have a better prognosis of his health.

Until then, Tuck said Jones will have a lot of support from players who will be hoping for the best.

"It's unfortunate a guy that young and with that much talent and pretty everything right there in front of him, to have something like that happen," Tuck said.

Jane McManus is a columnist for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow her on Twitter.

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