MRI confirms knee sprain for Giants CB Baker

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker avoided serious damage to his left knee despite initial tests leaving some doubt.

The first-round pick has a sprained knee and is listed as day-to-day.

"It's a big relief, certainly," coach Pat Shurmur said Monday. "He's been coming along real well, and to know that it's not serious at this point is good."

The hope is the injury will keep Baker sidelined two weeks or less, a source told ESPN. The Giants have three preseason games remaining and open the season on Sept. 8 against the Dallas Cowboys.

There is optimism Baker should be back in plenty of time.

"It's never good when anybody misses practice time. But we have some time left before the game against Dallas, the opener," Shurmur said. "We'll just see where he is. Again, he's day-to-day. Deandre is a tough, competitive guy. I anticipate that he'll be back out there soon."

Baker "felt something" in the knee early in practice on Sunday, according to Shurmur. He went for tests that revealed a sprain, but left open the possibility for something more serious. He underwent further tests Monday morning that concluded that it was not a torn ACL.

That is good news for the Giants and Baker, who has been working with the first-team defense the entire summer. He is expected to start opposite Janoris Jenkins this season. Antonio Hamilton and fellow rookie Corey Ballentine stepped in with the first-team defense in Baker's absence.

Baker did come out to watch midway through Monday's practice. He appeared to be walking fine without much of a limp.

Baker was the 30th overall pick in this year's draft out of the University of Georgia. He has impressed the Giants since joining the team.

"The way he moves, the way he physically competes. You can't really fake that," veteran safety Michael Thomas said.

Baker started 13 games last season at Georgia. He had 40 tackles, two interceptions and 10 pass breakups. He also didn't allow a touchdown pass and was named a first-team All-American while winning the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation's top defensive back.