Jets LB Harris 'ready to go' against 49ers on Sunday

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- David Harris has waited long enough.

The New York Jets linebacker declared Friday he's "ready to go" and eager to get back on the field after missing five games with a groin injury.

"It's been going good," Harris said. "I feel a little bit better coming out there for practice this week. I mean, I missed the last four or five games, so it's always a good thing to be back out there with your teammates and playing the game you love."

When asked if he anticipated playing Sunday at San Francisco, Harris said: "Yeah, I'm ready to go."

Harris was listed as questionable on the team's injury report, but coach Eric Mangini was optimistic all week about the second-year linebacker being able to play Sunday.

"He's had a couple of good days," Mangini said. "He had some good days last week. We're going to go through today and make sure that he's as ready as possible. We've waited quite a bit of time to make sure he is full-go. We won't shortchange that process. We'll go through all the days."

Harris was injured in the second quarter of the Jets' 28-24 victory over Kansas City on Oct. 26. When the injury occurred, Harris didn't immediately realize its severity.

"I felt sharp pains go down and I tried to come back in the game, but I couldn't go," Harris said.

He reportedly had surgery on his groin about a month ago, but was focused on returning for the playoff push.

"I knew it was going to be a setback, but I knew I wouldn't be out for the entire season," he said. "So, I always had hope. It was just a matter of me going into the trainer's room, getting rehab and doing things I needed to do to get back on the field. They did a great job of helping me come back and here I am."

He returned to practice on a limited basis last week, and acknowledged it has taken some time for him to get back to game speed.

"I'm a little rusty," he said. "Anytime you take a month off, mentally with checks and adjustments and just something like pass drops, you can be a little rusty. I've been practicing and trying to shake a little bit of it off, and I'm good to go."

Veteran David Bowens filled in nicely for Harris, who was leading the Jets at the time he was injured with 52 tackles -- and still ranks third despite missing so much time.

Also listed as questionable were wide receiver Laveranues Coles (thigh) and cornerback Ahmad Carroll (foot), who are both expected to play; and safety Eric Smith (head), who has missed the last five games after suffering three head injuries in a four-game span.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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