David Baas injury: Giants center aims for Week 1 return

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

David Baas should be good to go for the regular season after suffering an MCL injury last week.

The New York Giants had their contingency plans for what they'd do if David Baas' MCL injury caused him to miss regular season playing time, but they might not need it.Tom Coughlin expects the center will be back to anchor the team's offensive line for the season opener against Dallas, according to a report in the New York Daily News.

Baas won't play in the preseason and is considered "week-to-week," but the goal is to have him on the field when the games begin to matter on Sept. 8.

Baas started all 16 games last year while calling out reads for Eli Manning's squad. Backup center Jim Cordle has been on the roster since 2010 and he filled in fine when Baas sprained his MCL Sunday night, but the team didn't seem ready to move forward with him as the go-to guy during Baas' absence. They were instead going to bump first-round pick Justin Pugh into the lineup while shuffling everybody else around, putting Kevin Boothe at center.

Pugh took all right tackle snaps in practice Tuesday while David Diehl moved to Boothe's typical left guard spot. There's a chance Pugh, a talented rookie out of Syracuse, could end up in the lineup regardless of whether Baas is able to play -- especially after having a strong debut while Diehl struggled.

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