NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — According to Jorge Castillo of the Newark Star-Ledger, Hakeem Nicks is closer to returning than previously expected from a broken metatarsal in his right foot.

Nicks announced via conference call on Thursday that he’ll be ready for the Giants’ season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on September 5.

“I don’t have any doubt,” Nicks said today in response to a question on whether he’d be ready when the 2012 NFL season kicks-off.

The original prognosis was for four weeks, but the Giants’ announced Nicks would miss 12 weeks.

Nicks is shooting to make training camp which begins on July 26.  He is currently in a walking boot.

“You just don’t want any setbacks,” said Nicks. “If it takes me 12 weeks, that’s what they’re giving me so I think that’s what we’re going to go by. But my goal is always to come back earlier and we just don’t want any setbacks. We just have to play it smart and get ready for the season.”

Nicks is urging caution.  He will listen his body and seek the advice of  trainers should he feel any kind of discomfort as he goes through the recovery process.

“I’m going to listen to my body,” said Nicks explained. “I’m going to be smart about it. If I feel something when I’m running, I’m going to tell the coach, I’m going to tell the trainers. If not, I’m going to keep it going. When I first get back, I’m not going to be able to jump in and do the whole practice.”

Ramses Barden and Domenik Hixon are looking to push for playing time should Nicks suffer any setback and are hoping to impress Tom Coughlin.

The Giants are hoping that Nicks will return sooner, rather than later as he’s a key component of Big Blue’s aerial attack.

How vital is Nicks to the Giants’ success in the passing game?  Share your thoughts below…


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