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Giants expect TE Ballard to play 3 days after knee 'procedure'

SAN FRANCISCO -- It appears Eli Manning will have all of his weapons available for Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Team sources said the New York Giants fully expect tight end Jake Ballard to play. Because of the nature of the knee injury, the team will wait until seeing Ballard move in warmups to make a final call.

Ballard was the only Giant listed as questionable on the team's Friday injury report. All 53 players on the team's roster made the trip.

Ballard missed the last two regular-season games after injuring the posterior cruciate ligament in his knee Dec. 18 against the Washington Redskins. He returned for the postseason, catching one pass for 17 yards against the Green Bay Packers last week and two passes for 16 yards in the Giants' wild-card victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

Ballard had a minor "procedure" on the knee Thursday, but Giants coach Tom Coughlin said it wasn't surgery.

"I'm not concerned," Ballard said after sitting out practice Friday. "I just saw the doctor a little bit last night and they performed the procedure. I'll be ready to go. They just pulled me out just to rest me for the day."

Ballard, a second-year pro from Ohio State, had 38 catches for 604 yards and four touchdowns during the regular season.

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