Giants

Nicks In Doubt For Opener With Broken Foot; Giants Waive Witherspoon

Hakeem Nicks (credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Hakeem Nicks (credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks is expected to be sidelined up to three months after breaking his right foot at OTAs early Thursday.

Nicks fractured the fifth metatarsal of his right foot as he was running a route during individual drills in the Timex Performance Center field house, the team said in a release later in the afternoon.

Nicks is scheduled to have surgery Friday to have a screw inserted into the broken bone. The procedure will be performed by foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C. The expected recovery time for Nicks is approximately 12 weeks.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Nicks’ return for the season opener on Sept. 5 against the Dallas Cowboys is “probably going to be close.”

Nicks is optimistic, according to Coughlin. But is it realistic?

“He feels very confident about it,” Coughlin told the NFL Network. “The doctors have expressed it as being something that they think will heal very, very well.”

The Giants, who lost Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham to free agency, have depth at receiver with Victor Cruz returning along with Domenik Hixon, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, and Ramses Barden. Second-round draft pick Rueben Randle showed a lot of talent in the recent rookie minicamp, as well.

New York is scheduled to report to training camp at the University at Albany on July 26.

The fifth metatarsal generally takes a long time to heal because there isn’t a lot of blood flow to the area.

Nets center Brook Lopez was limited to five games this past NBA season after breaking his fifth metatarsal in training camp. He returned after missing 33 games of the league’s shortened season, and then sprained an ankle on the same foot and never came back.

Cornerback Prince Amukamara, the Giants’ first-round draft pick in 2011, broke his fifth metatarsal in training camp on Aug. 6. He did not play in a game until Nov. 20 and he never looked 100 percent in his rookie season as the Giants won a Super Bowl.

“All of a sudden, he started limping,” Coughlin said of Nicks. “I thought he rolled his ankle over; well, it wasn’t his ankle.”

New York will have a total of nine OTAs before mandatory mini-camp June 12-14.

Also Thursday, the Giants waived injured cornerback Brian Witherspoon. He tore his anterior cruciate ligament for the second year in a row in an OTA Wednesday. Defensive back Dante Hughes, a six-year veteran who tried out for the team at the rookie minicamp, was signed to replace him.

Hughes has played for Indianapolis and San Diego, seeing time in 53 regular-season games with two starts. He also played in one postseason game for the 2008 Colts against the Chargers. He has 81 tackles (61 solo), one interception and five passes defensed.

Witherspoon was signed by the Giants on Dec. 30, 2010, after stints with Jacksonville, Detroit and Carolina. He played 10 snaps on special teams in the regular-season finale at Washington on Jan. 2, 2011. Witherspoon first tore his ACL in a preseason game vs. Chicago last Aug. 22 and spent the season on injured reserve.

Do you think Hakeem will be ready for the opener? Be heard in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)