<
>

Ballard: I won't need PCL surgery

Giants tight end Jake Ballard says he will not need to undergo surgery on his partially torn PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) in his right knee.

“No. Not everyone needs it. It depends on how bad the tear is,” Ballard said Friday. “I think [Brandon Jacobs’ tear in 2009] was worse than mine [so he needed surgery]. I don’t need surgery.”

Ballard suffered the injury in Week 15 against the Redskins, and was forced to miss the final two games of the regular season as a result. He has played in all three of the Giants’ playoff games, but hasn’t been his normal self, catching just three passes for 33 yards -- none in the NFC Championship game.

“The last couple weeks I’ve been injured. I mean, my knee wasn’t feeling great and I wasn’t running well,” Ballard said.

While Ballard isn’t 100 percent yet, he says he’s felt the best he has since the injury.

“A PCL doesn’t just heal. You have to build your strength back up,” he said. “You can technically play without a PCL. [Tiki Barber did it. He just build his quads and gluts back up to where he never even thought about it. I’ve been building my leg muscles up and doing rehab, and it’s definitely helped.”

Ballard doesn’t care what kind of statistics he puts up in Super Bowl XLVI.

“I’ll do whatever it takes to get that ring,” he said.

In the Giants’ Week 9 victory in New England, Ballard had four catches for 67 yards -- including a beautiful game-winning touchdown grab with 15 seconds remaining to give his team a 24-20 win.

“It was just a back-shoulder throw and I caught it. It was a great thrown ball in the right spot, and I just made a play on it,” Ballard said.

It was a tough game, we were fighting, scratching, clawing, trying to stay in it. It really came down to that last drive. [Eli Manning] made some great plays and we capped it off with a touchdown late.”

The 24-year-old Ballard has played in just 15 regular season games, yet he’s already made his first Super Bowl, something he’s going to cherish.

“There’s guys on this team that have never played in the Super Bowl or the postseason. Veteran guys,” Ballard said. “I always think about Tony Gonzalez, he’s played 15 years in the league and I don’t think he’s won a playoff game.

“We’re very fortunate to be in the situation we are and I’m happy to be playing for the Giants with a chance at the title.”