John Fennelly, Lead Writer
No matter which version you believe of how Eli Manning (re) injured his ankle, the facts this morning do not change. He’s laid up for the next six weeks – at the least – and possibly beyond.
Yesterday, Dan Graziano reported that Manning was down at Duke doing ‘football stuff’ but was doing basketball stuff as well:
“Eli Manning had ankle surgery Thursday, one day after photos surfaced of him, his brother and some of their teammates on the basketball court at Duke. So if you are wondering whether Manning re-injured his already-sprained ankle playing basketball, you’re not out of line for asking.”
I’m not against guys getting in a little recreational activity here and there. That is, unless they don’t get hurt and jeopardize their livelihood. Eli, by admission, was still feeling the effects of the injury, which he sustained during the Giants’ season finale last Dec 27th.
The Giants had hoped the ankle would heal with rest. Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t. But suspicions are arising over the ankle’s overall stability and if even the operation will solve the two-time Super Bowl MVP’s problem.
From Ken Belson of The New York Times:
“Removing calcium deposits, scar tissue and bone chips from the high ankle area is uncommon, according to Dr. Steven Weinfeld, an orthopedic surgeon and the chief of the foot and ankle service at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. However, the surgery suggests that Manning has had issues with pain rather than with instability. Surgically stabilizing the ankle is a more complicated procedure with a longer rehabilitation period.
Weinfeld said it would take months to determine whether the injury had completely healed. Manning will most likely wear a protective boot for weeks and only begin running after about six weeks. Several more weeks of activity will be needed to find out if Manning can move without pain.
“Once you start running, you won’t know right away,” he said. “Getting hit by a 300-pound lineman is certainly different than someone twisting their ankle.”’
So, it’s no wonder the Giants are scouring the countryside for QBs with NFL experience. They aren’t necessarily looking for backups, they’re looking for someone who will be able to start. They’re preparing for the worst while hoping for the best.
This is a scary time for the Giants, even though they are downplaying the injury and subsequent surgery. They have never been without their leader and need him now more than ever. All the changes they made over the past few months may not matter if their most important player isn’t in the lineup.