Nick Gates injury update: Giants OL returns to practice after devastating leg injury

After seven surgeries to repair his shattered left leg, 384 days, and a grueling, often lonely rehabilitation process, New York Giants Offensive lineman Nick Gates returned to the practice field Wednesday.

“I’m excited to be back there. I just want to go out and play football again, not have to think, not have to worry about making calls, just go out and play football,” Gates said in the Giants’ locker room Wednesday, his scarred left leg resting. . in a chair as he stood before several members of the media. “It was fun, it’s fun to be back with the guys. That camaraderie, you don’t get when you’re just doing indy [individual drills] or to the side, so it was good to be back.”

Gates now has 21 days to prove to the Giants that he can help the team through the second half of the season. After that period of time, the Giants must decide whether to put him on the 53-man roster or make him inactive for the rest of the season. He said he got four reps on Wednesday during team periods, along with work on individual exercises.

“Their [21 days] all I have, but I feel fine. It’s nice to be back on the field, nice to be running with the guys,” Gates said. “It was a good moment, it was a good feeling to be back. I didn’t think it was going to come out again so quickly.”

Virtually no one thought that Gates would return so quickly. Initially, there was some fear that he might lose his left leg, and then fears that he would never play again.

Gates’ final surgery in February was to replace the rod in his leg, surgery needed because he had developed an infection.

Gates said he could have been ready to practice “halfway through training camp, if not the beginning” without the final surgery.

Giants guard Ben Bredeson said it was “amazing” to see Gates return to practice.

“Getting to see his entire journey, from injury to rehab to the point where he is now where he can practice again, has been amazing,” Bredeson said.

“I’m very proud of him, very happy for him and it’s a good day for him.”

as a member of the carolina panthers, Current Giants placekicker Graham Gano missed the entire 2019 season with a fractured femur. He has returned to being one of the best kickers in the league.

“I think the most important thing is that a lot of people see the injury, but you don’t see the hard work and the pain, the hard days, the early moments where you could see how many fights he was going through just to recover. Seeing that makes today that much more special as a friend of his.”

Gates admitted Wednesday that the road back has been difficult.

“It definitely feels a little lonely,” he said. “All the guys in the locker room were supportive of me trying to include me as much as they could, but it was a roller coaster of emotions, I’m not going to lie.”

Gates said he turned to the Giants’ Director of Wellness and Clinical Services, Dr. Lani Lawrence, for help. Lawrence is a sports psychologist.

Gates said he “definitely” had moments when he wondered if he was coming back or if it was worth the effort.

“I think those thoughts are just natural,” he said. “I talked to Dr. Lani a little bit and she told me, that’s normal, it’s part of the injury and part of the healing process and moving on.”

In recent weeks, as a return to the practice field has become increasingly realistic, Gates has been excited by the prospect.

“I just want to play football again, to be honest with you,” Gates said. “Just being out there is fun. I don’t know how to explain it, but I’ve been watching in the box the last few weeks we’ve been playing and I just want to get back out there with the guys and have fun. What other job allows you to beat up people and basically do whatever you want?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *