The third-year running back, who has gained 455 yards rushing, has seemingly known about the injury since the spring but has played in pain.
Bradshaw flew to North Carolina on Wednesday and was examined by foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson, who confirmed the diagnosis by Giants physicians: a cracked fifth metatarsal. It's a bone that runs along the outside of the foot between the ankle and the toes.
Bradshaw said doctors told him the bone could break if he continues playing.
"I just plan on going out there and giving it my all and if it breaks, it does," Bradshaw said. "I'll get surgery. If not, I'll wait to the end of the season and hopefully at the end I won't need it, but more than likely I plan on having surgery."
Bradshaw, who said he cushions his foot during games and finds that running hard is the best way to protect himself, hopes he can finish the season without the injury getting worse.
A slashing runner who plays behind starter Brandon Jacobs, Bradshaw has been dealing with two injuries this season. He also has been bothered by a problem with his right ankle dating back to his college days.
Since the third game of the season, he has worn a protective boot on his right foot and usually not practiced on Wednesdays and Thursdays. He takes a limited amount of snaps on Friday.
"When the game is going on, I can't feel it," said Bradshaw, who is averaging 5.7 yards per run. "A lot of adrenaline is pumping and you just never know. I felt a lot of pressure going through the game but it was never a factor."
Bradshaw said the ankle problem resulted from "an old fracture."
"It was never taken care of," he said. "That is just how it grew over with a couple of bone spurs and a couple of loose bones in there. It just heals like that. It is just a lot of pain. Other than that, it doesn't slow me down at all."
Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Bradshaw will get rest, treatment, rehabilitation and immobilization on the days that he does not practice. He acknowledged the injury might require surgery at the end of the season.
The Giants (5-2) play at Philadelphia (4-2) on Sunday.
Defensive tackle Chris Canty, who hasn't played since the season-opening victory over Washington because of a calf injury, and linebacker Michael Boley, who had arthroscopic knee surgery on Oct. 6, took part in individual practice drills on Thursday.
Offensive tackle Kareem McKenzie, who missed last weekend's game with a groin injury, practiced fully.