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Jason Pierre-Paul: Back “maybe before” the NFC Championship Game

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JPP is hopeful in his first interview since his injury

New York Giants v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Rob Leiter via Getty Images

Players say that when you are injured, you’re like a ghost around the team. You’re there, rehabbing, trying to get healthy, but you’re not really there. The team has to move on without you.

That doesn’t seem to be the case for New York Giants‘ defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. JPP has missed the Giants’ last four games after what the team calls core muscle surgery, but he has proven to be an inspiration to the team even in his absence.

He met with the New York Post during a public appearance on Tuesday night, and talked a bit about his injury and his drive to get back on the field. It started four weeks ago when the Giants were set to meet the division leading Dallas Cowboys with control of their own destiny potentially on the line. JPP sent a video to his teammates, which was played at the team meeting Saturday night.

“That was really just me being me,’’ he said. “It wasn’t emotional, it was just me being the great guy and great player that I am. As much as I wanted to be out there I couldn’t, but those guys did a great job of taking care of business.’’

The Giants won that game, and two of the following three, punching their ticket to the post-season. And with it, the chance for JPP to take the field with them once again.

“We’ve waited for — what? — five or six years for the playoffs. There you go. Why not win the whole thing?’’

Pierre-Paul will be healthy again — and soon — but how long he has to wait to get back on the field isn’t up to him, it’s up to his teammates.

“The deeper they get, the more likely I’m coming back,’’ Pierre-Paul said. “The guys want me to come back and that makes me want to come back even harder than I did before. I’m doing the best I can to get back and hopefully I can get back before the last game.’’

He was asked when that was, if he would be able to play in the NFC Championship Game.

“Maybe before,” he answered.