NEW YORK -- New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw says his fractured foot is feeling much better but he still expects to miss all organized team activities and minicamp as he recovers from an injection in his right foot.
Bradshaw said he had bone marrow taken from his hip and injected into the troublesome foot to help the bone heal quicker. He said the normal recovery time for the procedure is three months and Bradshaw hopes to be able to fully participate in training camp in August.
"I feel great," Bradshaw said at the opening of the NFL's pop-up store in Manhattan. "I got the injection in February. I feel tremendous after a month. Right now I have a lot of confidence that I will be able to just be a pound-for-pound back and just hold my own.
"I probably can (run now) but I am not going to try for two or three months more," he added. "I just want to rest as much as I can. By the time training camp comes, I want to practice every week and start the season off right."
Bradshaw carried the ball just 171 times for 659 yards and nine touchdowns in 2011. He missed four games after suffering a stress fracture related to a screw that had been placed in his right foot from a 2010 surgery. He played in the final nine games, including the Giants' run to a Super Bowl title, with the fracture.
Bradshaw was given the option of the injection or having the screw replaced, but after having surgeries on both of his feet and ankles in the past, Bradshaw opted for the injection.
"I feel great and feel confident and feel the stem cell (injection) was a good way to go," Bradshaw said. "The other thing would have been taking the screw out and putting another in, just doing a whole lot. I chose to do the stem cell. It is tremendous medicine. They take the bone marrow out of your hip, spin the red blood cells up. I guess like a new medicine. It is really doing well."
Bradshaw is hoping to carry the ball more with the departure of backup running back Brandon Jacobs, who signed with San Francisco last week after being released by the Giants.
The Giants have only running backs D.J. Ware, Da'Rel Scott and Andre Brown behind Bradshaw, but Brown was recently suspended by the league for the first four games of the 2012 season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Bradshaw is confident that he can increase his workload and return to his 2010 form when he carried the ball 276 times for 1,235 yards and eight touchdowns.
"Hopefully I can get a little more carries now," Bradshaw said with a smile. "Just got to have fun with it. I like the formula (the Giants had with Bradshaw and Jacobs). I can't complain but I just plan on touching the ball a little more, becoming a bigger part of the offense, not only running the ball but passing too. I plan on doing that and I just want to be a big part of the offense too."
Tom Coughlin has said that he would like to stick to the design of having a bigger back complement Bradshaw if Jacobs left. Bradshaw says he is confident the group of running backs the team has now can get the job done.
He also plans on becoming more of a leader in the locker room to help fill the leadership void left by Jacobs. Jacobs was perhaps the most vocal player on the team, delivering passionate and fiery on-field talks to the team prior to every game.
"I have always considered myself a leader on this team," Bradshaw said. "Just being a vocal leader on the team at times, I've had the respect from my teammates to be able to speak up and state what I think should happen. I just plan on doing that a little bit more this year."
Still, Bradshaw admits it will be difficult to move on without Jacobs.
"To lose him man ... I mean I have lost a brother in my younger days," Bradshaw said. "And it hurts but to go through this without him and him not being a part of the team anymore and be there with me is going to be tough."