Santonio Holmes unsure on return

Updated: July 27, 2013, 10:26 AM ET
By Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Santonio Holmes' training camp is off to a rocky start.

On the way to the SUNY campus, the New York Jets wide receiver's Cadillac truck broke down. On Friday, Holmes couldn't say with any certainty if he would be back on the field at all this season.

Holmes has been noncommittal about his timeline to return all along, but asked more specifically if he would return at some point this season, Holmes said, "I can't answer that question."

Holmes had two surgeries, one last season and another this offseason, to repair a Lisfranc injury in his left foot. On Friday, he said he was not aware of any athlete at his level who had a similar injury and returned to play at the same level.

"If there is, I don't know of anybody," the former Super Bowl MVP said.

Told of his top receiver's uncertainty, coach Rex Ryan said he was more optimistic.

"I feel confident that we will have [Holmes]," Ryan said. "Now when that is, I'm not sure."

The Jets likely had some indication that Holmes' recovery was going slowly. After a flurry of tryouts at the position, the Jets re-signed wide receiver Braylon Edwards.

At the same time, the Jets have tried to create as technically advanced a rehab environment in Cortland as they have in Florham Park, moving medical equipment including the team's low-gravity treadmill, which allows injured players to build muscle and endurance without full weight-bearing exercise.

Holmes noted that he has progressed and is running outside for short stretches, although slowly and without cutting.

"Making sure the feet move at the same pace," Holmes said, "and no setbacks in the future."

Asked if his doctors had indicated whether his return would be this season, Holmes said, "They don't know. I had two surgeries. That's all I can do is rehab right now."

With his playing future hanging in the balance, Holmes has been measured. He explained that he isn't nervous, because rushing back won't help matters.

"I'm worried about one day at a time right now, and I'm being honest that I don't know," he said. "I've never suffered an injury before. This is the first time I've been injured. I have to deal with it the best way I can, and that's one day at a time."

Jane McManus has covered New York sports since 1998 and began covering football just before Brett Favre's stint with the Jets. Her work has appeared in Newsday, USA Today, The Journal News and The New York Times. Follow Jane on Twitter.

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