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Giants running back Saquon Barkley, who continues to progress as he works his way back from surgery to repair a torn ACL, recently updated how his rehab is going. And as was the case in December, Barkley would not set a target date for his return.
"I'm doing really well in rehab," Barkley said during the AP Pro Football Podcast. "Very lucky to have a great team around me, great trainers, great doctors. Everyone has been very beneficial to me and very helpful to me. So whenever the opportunity I'm able to get back on the football field with my team, I'm definitely going to cherish that moment and I just honestly can't wait for that day to happen soon."
Barkley also recalled the emotions he felt after suffering the injury and how head coach Joe Judge supported him.
"When I got hurt, I was trying to be this tough guy and stay strong in the locker room," Barkley said. "And then I kind of started breaking down in front of him. He looked me in the eye and told me, 'It's going to be one hell of a story.' And that's the type of guy he is. He's got your back and he's a guy that's for his players and he's a guy who is going to push you and get the best out of you no matter what."
Barkley, who was dominant during his rookie season in 2018 and very productive in 2019 (though he missed time due to a high-ankle sprain and rushed his return), will soon have his next contract become a topic.
He will be entering the final year of his four-year, rookie deal next season and is set to hit free agency after the 2022 season as long as his fifth-year option is picked up, which is expected if a long-term deal isn't in place already.
But Barley is not focusing on his contract situation right now.
“To be honest, that’s the least of my worries," Barkley recently told NBC Sports. "That’s not even on my mind right now to even have that conversation, spark that conversation up. I’m really just focusing on getting this knee ready because I want to be the best player I can be.”
If Barkley hadn't gotten hurt, there's a chance he would've already been locked up by the Giants long-term.
But while the injury has put a crimp in things, Giants owner John Mara said on Jan. 6 that he expects Barkley to be a Giants for "a very long time."
"I think, knowing him, he's gonna come back stronger than ever and be a big part of this team next year," Mara said. "In terms of what the timetable is, it's hard to predict that. I know our medical people are very pleased with the progress he's made. I certainly expect him to be a Giant for a very long time."