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JPP '70-30' to play Week 1 --

Jason Pierre-Paul is on track to return from back surgery for Week 1 of the regular season, according to John Schmeelk of


Jason Pierre-Paul is '70-30' to return from back surgery in time for Week 1 of the regular season, John Schmeelk of said Wednesday on 'Big Blue Kickoff Live.'

"The Giants honestly believe, based on other guys that have had this injury, and I think that he'll be ready for the first regular season game," Schmeelk said. "I think there's an outside chance that he could play and get a couple snaps in that final preseason game just to get his feet wet. It's gonna be tight.

"From what I understand he's on schedule and the Giants hope he'll be back for Week 1. If I had to give you a percentage I'd say right now 70-30 he plays in Week 1."

Pierre-Paul, the defensive end who is the Giants' best defensive player, underwent surgery in early June to correct a lingering back issue that apparently bothered him last season, when his sack total fell to 6.5 from 16.5 in 2011.

The fact that Pierre-Paul appears on track to begin the season is good news for a defense that desperately needs him if it hopes to improve from last season. Even if he is back, however, it is likely that it would take Pierre-Paul a few weeks to be at peak efficiency.

The bulk of Schmeelk's Wednesday show was devoted to discussion of the defensive line.While Schmeelk said "I don't think I have seen anybody in the facility more than Justin Tuck this off-season," Schmeelk did not sound incredibly optimistic that Tuck could return to Pro Bowl form after two sub-par seasons.

"He'll never admit it, but his shoulder's messed up," Schmeelk said. "I think it's one of those injuries that's just never going to get better. He's had it for three seasons now and it's tender and when he gets hit the wrong way he injures it.

"When you're a defensive lineman and you lose strength in one of your arms because you've got a messed up shoulder you just can't physically be the same player that you have been in the past."

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