Smith is scheduled to undergo surgery on his articular cartilage injury to his left knee on Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery. He will require a complex procedure to repair the injury, including mosaicplasty and some microfracture surgery.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin said the prognosis is good.
"The doctor said he expects him to make a full recovery [by next season]," Coughlin said. "Non weight-bearing for a while and then progress very slowly. Hopefully if it all goes well, then what the doctors are projecting will be true. I am sure there will be restrictions [during his rehab and practicing]."
Smith is expected to be on crutches for six weeks before he can begin his rehabilitation, which is supposed to be long.
When Smith returns, Coughlin will likely limit the the receiver's workload in the same fashion that the team handled safety Kenny Phillips in the offseason. Phillips was handled with great care and eased back in slowly during camp after undergoing knee surgery the year before.
Smith is in the final year of his contract and this injury, which could keep him out until training camp, could have financial implications in addition to complications of the looming collective bargaining agreement issue.
The team promoted tight end Jake Ballard off the practice squad to the roster and signed safety Ben Hannula to the practice squad.