Jake Ballard questionable

Updated: January 20, 2012, 10:02 PM ET
By Matthew Ehalt | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants tight end Jake Ballard had medication injected into his knee on Thursday and is questionable for Sunday's game against San Francisco, according to a source.

The tight end missed practice following the procedure but he expects to play against the 49ers on Sunday.

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said that Ballard had swelling in his knee.

"I'm not concerned," Ballard said. "I saw a doctor for a little bit last night and performed a procedure and I will be ready to go. They pulled me out to rest me for today."

The other injured Giants are all probable for the game, including receiver Hakeem Nicks, who rolled his ankle at practice on Friday, and center David Baas, who missed practice with the stomach bug that sidelined quarterback Eli Manning on Wednesday.

Ballard sprained his posterior cruciate ligament against the Redskins on Dec. 18 and missed the final two games of the regular season with the injury. He returned for the playoffs and has caught just three passes for 33 yards in the two victories.

The tight end believes that he will be healthier when the Giants oppose the 49ers than he was in Sunday's win over Green Bay. He said his procedure only took a couple of minutes but his knee hurt enough to keep him out of practice Friday.

"It's still pretty slow," Ballard said of his recovery. "Like I said, this PCL is not going to heal overnight. It's usually about six, seven weeks before you really don't feel it anymore. It's only been about four maybe. Just playing football, if you land on it or anything, you can re-aggravate it. To really get healthy, you go about six, seven weeks without playing football. That's not going to happen and I'll be ready to go."

Nicks, who has scored four touchdowns in the playoffs, rolled his right ankle during practice Friday as he was running an in-cut route. He said that he rolls his ankle about twice per year, so he's used to it by now. He was limited in practice Friday.

He doesn't envision it being a problem for him as he plays in his first NFC Championship Game. Nicks leads the Giants with 13 catches for 280 yards in the playoffs and has caught four of Manning's six touchdown passes.

"I got no reason to be concerned about it," Nicks said. "It's an important game, put it out of my mind, I ain't going to think about it."

Baas missed practice for the first time all week Friday as he caught the stomach bug that previously ailed his quarterback. The center played for the 49ers before signing with the Giants this season.

Running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) practiced Friday, as per his usual schedule of only practicing Friday, and is probable for the game. Joining him as probable are Manning (illness), defensive ends Justin Tuck (shoulder) and Osi Umenyiora (ankle/knee), cornerback Corey Webster (hamstring) and linebacker Mark Herzlich (ankle).

Matthew Ehalt is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Mike Mazzeo was used in this report.

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