Giants 'hopeful' Ballentine reports for workouts

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants are optimistic that cornerback Corey Ballentine makes a full recovery after being shot in the glutes early Sunday morning. They are also "hopeful" he joins the team next Monday for workouts.

Ballentine is not attending this weekend's rookie minicamp. The Giants encouraged him to remain in Kansas to be with family and friends as they mourn the loss and celebrate the life of slain teammate Dwane Simmons.

The Giants understand this goes beyond football.

"I am really disappointed that he was the victim of a crime," Giants coach Pat Shurmur said. "He is a great young man. We got to know him really well through the draft process. My son [quarterback Kyle Shurmur] trained with him at EXOS, so I had some knowledge of what a great man he is. It is very unfortunate that he was a victim of a crime. That could happen to any of us. We are here for him. He is going through the vigils and the funerals, the things that he has to go through.

"We are here to support him as he comes back to us. We are just here for him. Thoughts and prayers go his way."

Ballentine and Simmons were walking home from a party just hours after he was drafted by the Giants in the sixth round when the shooting occurred. Ballentine was taken to the hospital in a private vehicle, according to Topeka police.

He was released from the hospital earlier this week after getting shot in the backside. He is expected to make a full recovery, even if he won't be on a football field right away.

"Yes, that is what they are saying," Shurmur said. "But it might take a little bit of time."

Simmons' funeral is scheduled for this weekend. Ballentine is expected to join his new teammates soon.

"We are hopeful," Shurmur said. "Again, this is a unique situation. We want him to get full closure on his end. We are sensitive to that. This is a real-life situation. We want to make sure he gets full closure. It is May. We play in September. We want to make sure he gets done on that end what he needs to and gets the help that he needs."