Giants' Aaron Ross would have been better off if he completely tore his plantar fascia
Published: 07:54 p.m., Wednesday, August 25, 2010
By Vinny DiTrani
The Record (Hackensack N.J.)
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Tom Coughlin became a little sensitive Wednesday during his post-practice news conference when question after question centered on injured Giants.
"Do the guys who practice ever get a question?" he said as he gazed to the roof of the Timex Center's indoor practice facility.
Unfortunately, this time of year, with the regular season looming, training camp injuries take on greater importance. The timetables for a return become more meaningful as the opener nears.
Take cornerback Aaron Ross, suffering from plantar fasciitis. Coughlin said Wednesday that Ross probably will have his right foot in a cast for about 10 days. That would leave him about a week to get ready for Carolina on Sept. 12, if everything goes right.
The injury was not discovered until after the team played Pittsburgh last weekend. It's still uncertain how it occurred, although Coughlin said Ross complained about his tape job during the game.
Ross missed almost all of last season because of a lingering hamstring problem. He worked hard during the off-season to make sure there would be no recurrence, and wore a big smile throughout camp as practice after practice went by with no hint of its return.
This new problem has hit him hard. He was so bummed out Wednesday he didn't want to talk to reporters about the injury. He knows his availability for the Panthers will be a question, and after what he went through in 2009, this is not the way he wants to begin the 2010 season.
Ross went to Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday to get a second opinion from foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson. The second opinion mirrored the first: Ross has the same injury that bothered quarterback Eli Manning for a while last season.
But Ross plays a position where there's more starting and stopping, cutting and backpedaling, all things that could irritate the injury. Safety Antrel Rolle knows all about it: He suffered a complete tear of the planter fascia while playing for Arizona last season against the Giants at Giants Stadium.
"I was backpedaling and it felt like a rock hit the bottom of my shoe," he recalled. "I thought maybe I stepped on something or someone threw something. I felt like a pop at the bottom of my shoe. It didn't hurt at first, but once I started running, it grabbed my toes and everything started pulling together."
Rolle, like Manning, did not miss any playing time because of the injury. Ross will not be that lucky.
"Actually, his is a little bit different than mine," said Rolle. "He has plantar fasciitis, which is a partial tear. I tore my plantar fascia completely.
"To tear it completely is actually better than to tear it partially. Once you tear it completely, it pretty much takes care of itself. It's a matter of much pain you can play on."
Plantar fasciitis is a swelling of the band of muscles at the bottom of the foot. And Coughlin was adamant Wednesday that in Ross' case, "There's no tear."
Rolle has counseled Ross on how the injury might affect a defensive back.
"I wouldn't say it was a lot of trouble; it's a matter of how much pain you can take while playing," he said. "For the first three games, I felt like it was pretty tough. After that, it was pretty much downhill and I got used to it.
"Just pretty much treatment, that's all you can do for it. It's not anything you can surgically repair or speed up the process with. They just do treatment, ice and (stimulation), and things of that nature."
Rolle said he still has some flashbacks to the injury.
"Trust me, it was painful," he said. "Even to this day, when I wake up, it's still, very, very stiff and very sore on the bottom (of the foot). It's going to be something that you have to deal with for a long time.
"Once it warms up, it's fine. When I wake in the morning, it's still sore and it still gets tight. Once you've walked on it and it's loosened up, it's fine."