H.S. FOOTBALL FAN GUIDE FREEDOM’S ROEDER ON VERGE OF A MILESTONE
Barkley should return sooner than expected from ankle sprain
Saquon Barkley smiled and bit his tongue at his locker Thursday, clearly aware that the world is in awe of his rapid healing powers and justifiably proud of it too.
“My mindset was not going to change from the day I got hurt,” Barkley, 22, said with conviction. “I wasn’t going to allow myself to take a negative approach to it.
“I’m a big believer that with healing, a lot of it is mental.”
The Giants’ star running back still probably isn’t going to will his way back onto the field for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, especially if it requires fighting back against his doctors’ and trainers’ advice.
“I wouldn’t say I’m going to fight it,” Barkley said. “We have a great team on the field and off the field. I trust their decision. They’re doing a great job with me in rehab and being honest and open with me. Whatever they’d like me to do, I’m willing to do.
“I’m always a competitor. I’m always going to do what it takes to help my team win. And if they feel like that’s not this Sunday, then it’s not this Sunday.”
Barkley’s increased workload and his professed confidence in his health, however, made clear that he intends to shatter the initial six-to-eight-week timetable for his recovery.
He did not practice Thursday, but he was planting, cutting, stutter-stepping and “got to open up and run full speed”
on the side, just 11 days after the injury.
Oct. 10 at New England sounds like it’s on the table. That would be 18 days after his Sept. 22 sprain in Tampa, and it would mimic how Barkley missed only two games as a Penn State freshman in 2015 with the same injury.
Barkley wouldn’t dismiss that line of thinking either, saying they were “both high ankle sprains.”
“I’m just happy to be back out there with my teammates, to get back on the field,” he said, playing it coy about possibly playing Sunday.
“I have one more day, Friday, to get on the field and get ready for the Vikings.”
Pat Shurmur again refused to rule Barkley out for the game.
“Yeah, and I would” consider Sunday a possibility, Shurmur said. “I think we check constantly with our doctors and we make sure that he’s on the right
track to come back. So we’ll just see.
“And really if you think about this globally, people outside the building put time frames on things. But within the building we know that all people are different.
“That’s why you’ll hear us say typically day to day or week to week. And that’s where we are with all injuries. because as different as people are, they respond differently to injuries, and sometimes the injuries are more or less severe but still get categorized as this.
“That’s where I think we have to be careful when people are trying to predict when a player comes back.”
Shurmur’s point is well taken. Barkley is different.
The Daily News asked Barkley, for example, if he were actually recovering this quickly or if he simply had a higher tolerance for pain.
“I think you posted a video on that and said ‘wow’ or ‘how’ when I made a cut,” Barkley said, referring to a video on the News’ Instagram account of him planting and cutting on his right foot at Thursday’s practice.
“I think if you ever make a cut like that, I don’t think that’s pain.”
Barkley said part of the reason is he’s been “attacking” the training room and his rehab just as aggressively as he attacks practices and weight room work. He said he “never really was given a time frame” even though six to eight weeks was initially reported.
“I think everybody is different,” Barkley said. “But everyone has different opinions.”
Barkley said he saw two doctors: Giants team consultant Dr. Martin O’Malley on Sept. 23 and specialist Dr. Robert Anderson on Sept. 25 because they are “two of the best in the world at what they do.”
“I wouldn’t say the advice was the same but one saw me a little bit earlier than the other,” Barkley said. “So I think you got to see two different kinds of ankles at that point.”
Said Shurmur: “We’ve already seen there are a lot of things about Saquon that are unique. So we’ll just have to see if this is another part of his uniqueness.”
Giants RB Saquon Barkley’s increased workload and his professed confidence in his health made clear Thursday that he intends to shatter the initial six-toeight-week timetable for his recovery from a high ankle sprain.