EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 12: Barry Cofield of the New York Giants celebrates with team mate Chris Canty after sacking Matt Moore of the Carolina Panthers during the NFL season opener at New Meadowlands Stadium on September 12, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
New York Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty had surgery during the offseason to repair his knee and had been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list to start the season. But now he says his knee is feeling better and he expects to start practicing next week – the first week he'll be eligible to under NFL rules. "I wish I could be available for this week," Canty said. "I feel like, as I do in all instances, I could help our football team. But that decision has been made a long time ago, and I just look forward to next week." When he found out he would be placed on the PUP list, Canty admitted to being frustrated. He said his knee had felt better than it did at the end of last season, but he also confessed that his knee is feeling much better than it did at the beginning of the season. Players that are placed on the PUP list are not allowed to play during the first six games of the season and they are allowed a three week window to begin practicing after that. For Canty, that window begins after Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers. Canty knows the game will be a battle and is disappointed that he is missing a physical game, plus a chance to face some ex-teammates. "To have the opportunity to go into that type of environment and compete on that stage against that level of competition, I mean any competitor worth his salt wants the opportunity to do that," he said. "That’s kind of a bummer that this one is not a week later." Canty feels that he will be ready physically for week seven's game, but can't make any promises that the coaches will activate him then. The Giants have a reputation for having a strong defensive line that specializes in rushing the quarterback, but so far they have struggled. At this point in the season they have accumulated only eight sacks, ranking 24th in league. Canty is hoping that when he returns he can help his teammates get back to what they do best. "It’s kind of like when you have all your pieces in place, there's just something about the chemistry of it," he said. "Understanding how each one of us works together; we got used to that last year. When you have to make some adjustments on the fly because you don’t have some certain guys available, it’s tough. But hopefully when I come back, we can kind of get things back to the way they used to be around here." Canty has been trying to stay productive during his time away. He has been trying to get leaner through conditioning, allowing himself less recovery time between reps, which has helped him to lose 10 to 15 pounds (although a friend of his tells us it could be up to 20 lbs.). He feels that his hard work will help him make his transition back to the field. The defense's lack of sacks is proving that Canty is an integral part of the front four. His return is surely much anticipated by his teammates and the fans. Also… Be sure to like Giants 101 on Facebook, follow Giants 101 on Twitter & +1 Giants 101 on Google+ Check out the latest line of GMENShirts, including the new pink version which supports the fight against Breast Cancer Listen to Gameface with The Frattman every Sunday morning at 9 AM EST on 940 ESPN Radio Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.