EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Rich Seubert needed less than a second to dispel the idea that a sprained right knee was going to keep him out of the New York Giants' starting lineup in the Super Bowl.
``I'll be on the field,'' the blue-collar guard said Thursday after watching the Giants practice for the title game against the New England Patriots a week from Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.
If anyone knows his ability to come back from an injury, it's Seubert.
On Oct. 19, 2003, his career seemed in jeopardy when Philadelphia Eagles lineman N.D. Kalu stepped on the back of his right leg and broke his fibula, tibia and ankle.
Tests revealed a spiral fracture that would require months in a hospital and five operations that would prevent him from playing again until late in the 2005 season.
Seubert doesn't remember much of the time immediately after the injury, although Giants fans were thrilled when he vigorously waved a white towel around his head as he was carted off the field.
``They gave me a shot of something,'' Seubert said of the incident. ``I don't remember much.''
The one memory that never goes away is the pain.
``Oh, I remember the pain,'' Seubert said. ``I remember the pain, it hurt.''
Ironically, Seubert was miked for the game and he eventually went back and looked at the videotape, although he has not done it in a while.
``The guy stepped on the back of my leg and it broke,'' Seubert said. ``I heard it. I didn't know how bad it was. It was scary, though. You hear it break.''
Seubert sat out the entire 2004 season while undergoing countless hours of rehabilitation. He made the roster for the 2005 season but he was inactive for the first 10 games.
The 28-year-old, who is one of the biggest practical jokers on the team, said the Giants easily could have given up on him during the recovery period, but that was not their style.
It wasn't his, either.
``I never doubted it,'' Seubert said of his comeback. ``I knew it would take time and I might have these ups and downs. But if you give up, you are going to be done.''
With a steel rod in his leg, Seubert said he never worried about it, especially after former teammate Jason Whittle stepped on his leg during his first practice back.
Seubert eventually played four games in the 2005 season, including a start against Kansas City during which Tiki Barber ran for a then franchise-record 220 yards.
Seubert played in 14 games in 2006, starting three. He returned to the starting lineup on a full-time basis this season when David Diehl was moved from left guard to left tackle after Luke Petitgout was released.
``Every game I put my uniform on makes it all worth it,'' Seubert said. ``It's a great feeling to be a New York Giant and to go out there and play for this team. It's a thrill. This is what you dream of. It's the Super Bowl and this is the game of all games. It will be fun.''
During practice on Thursday, he hid behind an orange water cooler and did sit-ups and stretching exercises so his fellow linemen would not crack jokes about him.
He also worked because he wanted to be ready for the game of a lifetime.
``This is now,'' Seubert said. ``Who cares about the past? We have to look forward to the future.''
Win or lose, Seubert knows that he is going to pay a price for living out his dreams.
``If you break your leg, it's going to give you problems down the road,'' he said. ``I'm 28 years old. When I'm 50 I'm going to feel my leg. That's life. It's my decision and I decided to play football. You can ask any ex-player, after they stop playing there are aches and pains. It's part of the business.''
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