The best news, if Keith Bulluck is to be believed, is that the Pro Bowl linebacker's left knee has come around very well since ACL surgery that cut his 2009 season short.
"The knee's getting better," Bulluck said. "I've seen five or six doctors in the last however many months. They've pulled, they've twisted, they've done everything there is to do to try to find something wrong with it. With the way the rehabilitation process goes these days, it's almost equivalent to a high ankle sprain.
"The only people that seem to be worried about my knee is the reporters. My team doctors, the coaches here, they're not concerned with it because I think if they were, I wouldn't be having this conversation with you right now."
Bulluck admitted that the rehab is still on-going, but that the knee is about "90 percent" there, with seven weeks to go before the season opens. He obviously showed the Giants enough in a 20-minute workout last week that they signed him to a one-year deal that could be worth as much as $2.5 million if he hits all the incentives.
Take that as good news. Even better is that Bulluck won't have to worry about playing two spots, as he did in Tennessee. As a three-down linebacker, Bulluck would play the first two downs outside, and then move to the middle on third down. Now, he'll concentrate strictly on the middle, and probably be a two-down player. That alone should help conserve the 33-year-old's knee.
There's still work to do, however.
"As far as getting off blocks, going sideline to sideline, I haven 't done that since December," he said. Bulluck tore the ACL on a non-contact play on Dec. 20 against Miami and had surgery 10 days later. "As far as going full-go, it's up to the coaches. I've been told they're not going to try and kill me in two-a-days, and I know when I'm not practicing I'm going to be doing things to get my knee stronger. I'm not 100 percent right now. I still have to get more strength in my quads, but all that stuff comes."
Bulluck had played 127 straight games in a 10-year career before his injury, so there's no reason not to think he couldn't serve as at least an adequate MLB. Whether he'll be great, who knows? But he's always had the reputation of being a hard worker and a good locker room guy. With Justin Tuck serving as more of a quiet leader, Bulluck could meld well with the uninhibited Antrel Rolle as the vocal leaders on defense.
"I still have that burning desire to come and play and prove that I'm one of the best linebackers in this league," he said. "That's my challenge. Playing with this organization, I still have a lot to prove. And we can win. That's why I chose to come here."