New York Giants center Nick Gates was thought to have suffered a career-ending leg injury last season against the Washington Commanders.
On Wednesday, he was added to the team’s active roster with a chance to make a comeback Sunday.
Gates was taken off the physically unable to perform list more than 13 months and seven surgeries after fracturing the fibula and tibia in his left leg.
“We’ll put him out there,” coach Brian Daboll said Wednesday, via the team website. “I think he’s improved every day since he’s been out there. He looks ready to go. We’ll see where that takes him. Just keep competing; whenever his number’s called, be ready.”
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Gates was a starter last season but was shifted to left guard to replace an injured Shane Lemieux against the Commanders. He was injured that game after his leg was awkwardly tangled up with other players.
The injury was initially thought to be career-ending, and a difficult recovery process made the chances of his return even more grim.
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“It definitely gets a little lonely,” Gates said earlier this month, via The Associated Press. “All the guys in the locker room have had my back. They tried to include me as much as they could, but it was a roller coaster of emotions, I’m not going to lie.
“At one point after I had my last surgery, which was No. 7, they had to take the rod out because I had an infection in my bone and put another rod in. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to play this year, at least not until midway.”
According to ESPN, there was a point when Gates feared he would lose his leg.
“I mean, so many surgeries and so much rehab. You saw him when I first got here. Just a testament to the young man,” Daboll said. “It takes a lot of perseverance to go through what he’s been through and to be out here. Impressive young man.”
Gates will be eligible to make his season debut Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. He played all 16 games for the Giants in 2020 and in 2019, starting three.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.