Coach: Hakeem Nicks aims for camp

Updated: May 30, 2012, 10:25 AM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com

RYE, N.Y. -- Hakeem Nicks is facing a three-month recovery for his surgically repaired broken toe, but the New York Giants' wide receiver told his coach he'll be back before then.

" 'I'll be back for training camp' were his final words" during their Sunday phone conversation, Tom Coughlin told reporters Tuesday. "I said OK. I would accept a day or two after the start of camp, (that) would be fine."

"I really appreciated his optimism," added Coughlin, who attended the Giants Foundation's golf outing at Westchester Country Club to benefit youth-related charities in the tri-state area. "He has a cast and is elevated. He told me he was pretty much pain-free."

Nicks fractured the fifth metatarsal of his right foot Thursday during the Giants' second organized team activity workout. He underwent surgery the next day in Charlotte and might not be back on the field until mid-August. The Giants report to training camp July 26 at the University at Albany.

Last season, cornerback Prince Amukamara broke a toe in his foot at the start of training camp in early August and missed the first nine games of the season.

Amukamara had an injection in his foot a few months ago and just began running on grass Tuesday.

"Some people can come back in six weeks, and some people take three months," Amukamara said of the injury.

Wide receiver Domenik Hixon said he broke his fifth metatarsal while preparing for the scouting combine before his rookie season and needed three months to recover.

"I had that injury before and he should be back in no time," Hixon said. "It is not really the healing part, it is getting back in shape and doing all that, but he stays in shape so that won't be a problem."

Coughlin and Hixon thought Nicks initially rolled his ankle when he suffered the injury while running a hook route against no defender.

In Nicks' absence, 2011 breakout sensation Victor Cruz will step in as the Giants' top receiver. Hixon, Ramses Barden, Jerrel Jernigan and second-round pick Rueben Randle -- who are all competing for the Giants' third receiver spot to replace Mario Manningham -- will get valuable practice reps with quarterback Eli Manning, as well.

When asked if the team might consider bringing back Plaxico Burress because of the inexperienced receivers behind Nicks and Cruz, Coughlin shook his head no.

He still hopes to find another gem somewhere already on his roster.

"Look for the next Victor Cruz," Coughlin said.

Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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