Jason Pierre-Paul recovery remains 'a slow process'

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Wednesday marks six weeks since New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul had surgery to amputate his right index finger and repair fractures in his right thumb. At the time of that surgery, people with knowledge of the situation estimated that Pierre-Paul's hand would need six weeks to heal.

But sources familiar with Pierre-Paul's thinking said Wednesday that there's been no change in his plans for his recovery or any movement on plans to return to the Giants. One of those sources said Pierre-Paul's recovery remains "a slow process," and that he's still not planning to join the Giants until he believes he's close to being able to play.

The important thing to remember here is that the six-week recovery timetable was an estimate, and so there's no reason to assume he's getting the bandages off his hand Wednesday. It's possible they're coming off Thursday, or next week, or that they came off Monday. But just because he reached a mile-marker in his recovery from the July 4 fireworks accident that severely damaged his hand doesn't necessarily mean the Giants should expect to see him anytime soon.

Once the bandages come off, Pierre-Paul and his doctors are still going to have to assess his ability to rehab, the extent to which he can use his hand ... any number of other aspects of the recovery whose speed cannot be assumed. And until he has some sense of when he can expect to be back on the field, Pierre-Paul won't be able to reach the financial agreement he needs to reach with the Giants before returning to their camp.

Pierre-Paul has shown some signs of emerging from the emotional portion of his trauma. He has had conversations in recent weeks with teammates, coaches and his general manager. And his usually active Instagram account, which had been silent for five weeks following the accident, has stretched back to life in recent days. He posted a photo of his baby last week, and earlier this week he posted a photo of 5-year-old Hailey Dawson throwing out the first pitch at an Orioles game with her robotic hand. That one is of course especially poignant, given Pierre-Paul's current condition.

On Wednesday morning, Pierre-Paul wrote "I'm just happy to be alive today" while wishing his brother a happy birthday.

So there are signs that Pierre-Paul is on the mend, and as time moves on we will get some clarity as to when we can expect him to return to the football field. But for now, the process of Pierre-Paul's recovery remains slow, and just because we've reached that six-week milestone doesn't mean anything all of a sudden changes.