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Plaxico Burress' ankle feels Super





Tuesday, January 29th 2008, 4:00 AM


CHANDLER, Ariz. - While the mystery surrounding Tom Brady's ankle continues to grow, the Giants arrived in Arizona with no concerns about their most important injured ankle.


Wide receiver Plaxico Burress said Monday that his sprained right ankle, which has plagued him since training camp, is almost completely healed.


"Plax had a boot on," linebakcer Antonio Pierce said with a smile. "He took it off right before he got off the plane. We knew the paparazzi was outside."


The biggest story leading up to the Super Bowl has been Brady's ankle since TMZ.com posted video of the MVP wearing a boot on the streets of Manhattan. Burress' ankle is important to his team since he's the Giants' deadliest weapon, as evidenced by his 11 receptions for 151 yards against the Packers in the NFC Championship Game.

Burress says his ankle is at "97%." Burress feels so good that he even said he has been practicing since the Giants lost to the Vikings on Nov. 25 despite the fact that he was routinely listed on the weekly injury report as not participating in practice.


Most of the time it was believed that Burress was at practice on a bike on the sidelines but the receiver said otherwise yesterday.


"I've been practicing every week, every day since Minnesota," said Burress, who has 34 catches for 491 yards and three touchdowns in eight games since then. "I haven't missed a day of practice so I've been getting all the reps."


Whatever the case, Burress feels better than he has all season. Apparently, Terrell Owens isn't the only star wide receiver with rapid healing powers.


Burress revealed that he has been following an alternative healing method that Owens is famous for using.


"Just getting treatment two or three times a day, treating myself at home, sleeping in my hyperbaric chamber," Burress said. "It works. Doc said I am the first player he thinks in his career that has played his way back to good health. I can't say that (the chamber) doesn't work."


Despite catching 12 touchdowns passes this season, Burress said he was frustrated knowing he could have done so much more when healthy. Packers cornerback Al Harris won't argue with that after Burress shredded him in the NFC Championship Game.


"I had some games where I wasn't really able to go out and do the things I am capable of, like jumping up in the air or getting off the line of scrimmage and breaking off my routes like I normally could," Burress said. "Playing with these injuries made me a better, smarter player. Now that I am starting to get healthy, all of it is starting to come together."


Now, the former Michigan State star is one of the main Giants attractions this week with the national media. Not bad for a receiver whose reputation prior to this season was for being a diva who wanted the ball all the time, pouted when he didn't get it and was soft.


Now, he's being asked repeatedly about why he is so tough and able to play through pain and how he defends Eli Manning through thick and thin.


"He is a guy who wants to win and wants to play," Pierce said. "He is a guy who came in three years ago with one motive - to be one of the best receivers in the league and win a championship. He has one of those. Now he has to go and get the other."


It is amazing he has lasted this long. When I saw that his ankle was better I was shocked.


There are a lot of things about TO I am not a fan of, especially the fact that deep down he is a little girl, but he does seem to rebound from injuries better than anyone else.

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