Giants' Steve Smith will be forced to take long road back

Steve Smith faces an uphill battle to get back to where he was as a wide receiver for the New York Giants.

According to Hank Gola of the New York Daily News, Smith will require a complicated surgery, a combination of microfracture and mosaicplasty to repair articular cartilage damage in his knee.

One medical expert said Smith might not be able to begin running until June, and his availability for the start of the 2011 season could potentially be in jeopardy. The timing of the injury couldn’t be worse for Smith, who had a breakout season in 2009 and was making plans for a lucrative contract. That big deal is going to be much tougher to come by now.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin was more upbeat.

“The doctor said that he expected him to make a full recovery," Coughlin said. “Nonweight bearing for a while and then progress very slowly, obviously. But hopefully if it all goes well, then what the doctor is projecting will be true."

Replacing Smith in the final three weeks won’t be easy, either.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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