The Giants may have finally given fans a reason why Jason Pierre-Paul struggled in 2012. Now, they just hope it won't run into next season.
After earlier media reports, the Giants have confirmed Tuesday that Pierre-Paul underwent surgery on his back in Los Angeles. The team put the timetable for recovery at three months, which would mean an early-September return. The Giants open the regular season Sept. 8 against Dallas.
“My back has been bothering me for a while, and even last season I played through some back issues,” Pierre-Paul said in a statement Tuesday. “The treatment I’ve been doing has helped manage the issue, but this procedure is going to get me fully healthy and there should be no more pain.”
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He underwent a successful microdiscetomy, which is done to correct a herniated disc.
Pierre-Paul had just 6.5 sacks last season after exploding on the national scene in 2011 with 16.5 sacks. The 24-year-old first-round pick was considered a raw talent entering the league and his breakout 2011 season was seen as a sign of huge things to come.
But there were few answers to his struggles in 2012. He didn't have a sack in the final seven games of the season.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Pierre-Paul played through the injury last season and received epidural shots to numb the pain.
Pierre-Paul sat out organized team activities last week with what head coach Tom Coughlin said was an excused absence. Coughlin he was "aware of both circumstances there" in respect to the absences of Pierre-Paul and fellow defensive end Justin Tuck. However, he expected them back on Friday, May 31. That session was not open to the media.
The Giants were counting on Pierre-Paul even more this upcoming season after the departure of Osi Umenyiora to Atlanta. Umenyiora was a free agent and one of the reasons the team barely debated bringing him back was due to the emergence of Pierre-Paul.
Mathias Kiwanuka, who played at linebacker last season but was a defensive end entering the league, worked out in Pierre-Paul's absence last week. He will likely see more time with Pierre-Paul on the shelf. The team also selected defensive end Damontre Moore out of Texas A&M in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.