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Nicks plans to be in Giants lineup opening day

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks insists that a recent broken foot will not keep him out of the New York Giants' season-opener against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 5.

Speaking on a telephone conference call a week after breaking his right foot, Nicks said his healing process should be quicker than the 12 weeks estimated by doctors. However, he is not going to push it and risk re-injuring it.

Nicks broke the fifth metatarsal of his right foot last Thursday running a hook pass pattern during the team's second organized team activity. The four-year veteran had surgery the next day, with Dr. Robert Anderson inserting a screw into the broken bone.

With a 12-week recovery scenario, Nicks would be ready to return in mid-August, days after the Giants return from training camp at the University at Albany.

"The doctor said that he had people come back as early as four weeks, six weeks to eight weeks," Nicks said. "It really just ranges. We just don't want any setbacks. So we are going to take it - the team wants to take it - 12 weeks. That is what they are giving us. So I think that is what we are going go by, what the team gives us. But my goal is always to come back earlier."

Running back Ahmad Bradshaw, receiver Domenik Hixon and cornerback Prince Amukamara all have had similar injuries and Nicks has talked to them.

"Mainly Bradshaw said that I would be good, ready to go once the screws get in and they heal up and everything," Nicks said. "But it is just a matter of the wound healing up. It feels good. I'm walking around pretty good right now. But it is still early. I'm barely a week in. So it is just a matter of me being patient about it and just making sure I'm doing all of the right things and taking care of my body."

Nicks is currently using a walking boot. He hopes to begin working out on a stationary bike and other equipment soon. He had the surgery in North Carolina and plans to return to New Jersey next week. He also plans to attend the Giants' visit to the White House June 8.

Jerrel Jernigan, Ramses Barden, Hixon and second-round draft choice Rueben Randle will fill in with Nicks out.

"I definitely feel like I will be ready to go when it is time to be ready to go," Nicks said. "We are just going to take it slow as of right now. But once it is time to run, and do all of those types of things, I'll be able to judge it more."

Nicks had 76 catches for 1,192 yards and seven touchdowns last season, second on the team to Victor Cruz, who finished with 82 catches for a team-record 1,536 yards and nine touchdowns.

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