|Giants WR Toomer hopes to be ready for start of training camp|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 04 June 2007 13:08|
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Veteran receiver Amani Toomer expects his surgically repaired left knee to be ready when the New York Giants open training camp in a little less than two months.|
After attending Monday's organized team activity practice, Toomer said his knee felt 70 to 80 percent its normal strength.
``I am not really surprised, actually they have been slowing me down a little to keep me going for the long haul,'' said Toomer, who is the team's all-time leading receiver in yards gained (8,157) and No. 2 in receptions (561) behind the recently retired Tiki Barber (586).
This has been a strange offseason for the 32-year-old Toomer. It started in November when he tore his left anterior cruciate ligament in a game against Houston and underwent surgery, missing the final eight games of the regular season and the playoff loss to Philadelphia.
For some 11-year veterans, that type of an injury might start questions about retirement. Not for Toomer.
``I just still feel like I have a lot more to prove and a lot more to do in the game. When the time is right, I'll know. But it doesn't feel right now, so I'm going to keep on going,'' he said.
During the OTAs in recent seasons, Toomer has been the prime target for Eli Manning, since Plaxico Burress and Jeremy Shockey have been no-shows at the voluntary workouts.
Burress and Shockey are missing again, and Toomer has spent most workouts jogging along the sidelines with the trainers, forcing Manning to throw to Sinorice Moss, second-round draft pick Steve Smith and a host of free agents and rookies.
Toomer usually watches the drills and offers advice to the young receivers.
``I feel real good,'' Toomer said. ``I am trying to get back and cut. Hopefully I'll be able to do something in this little minicamp (next week), I'll be able to get out there. I am shooting for camp to be back.''
Coach Tom Coughlin doesn't plan to push Toomer in training camp, noting that most players returning from ACL injuries are limited to one practice a day.
Toomer isn't worried about his knee. While admitting an ACL is a serious injury, he said the surgery has become routine and that the players usually come back 100 percent.
He tore the ACL in his right knee as a rookie in 1996 and came back to become of the Giants' best wideouts.
``It's tough,'' he said. ``I have done it once before and I'll come back from it again, just like I did last time.''
Not only do the Giants need Toomer, so does Manning. He is the one receiver that the young quarterback knows he can count on.
While Shockey and Burress have made some big plays, they also have upstaged the quarterback. Toomer doesn't. He catches the balls thrown at him and doesn't complain when Manning throws elsewhere.
When Toomer was hurt last season, the Giants couldn't replace him, especially with Moss battling a hamstring injury throughout his rookie season.
With Moss healthy and Smith looking very good in the recent practices, the Giants should have much more depth at receiver this season.
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