Giants' Steve Smith faces long rehab

12/22/2010 - NFL Steve Smith New York Giants + more

New York Giants wide receiver Steve Smith underwent successful microfracture surgery on his left knee.

Smith did not undergo a mosaicplasty on the articular cartilage as initially expected. But that does not mean the procedure was any less complex or the injury is any less serious according to the team.

The wide receiver, who suffered the injury in a win over the Vikings over a week ago, faces a long rehabilitation process that could take up to nine months. Smith is expected to be on crutches for six weeks before he can begin his rehabilitation.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said last week that the prognosis was good but said there will be restrictions on Smith during his rehab and practices.

It is likely the Giants will handle their Pro-Bowl receiver with kid gloves the way they did with safety Kenny Phillips, who underwent microfracture surgery last year and was eased throughout the offseason and training camp.

The wideout is in the final year of his contract and this injury could have financial implications in addition to complications of the looming collective bargaining agreement issue.

Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.