New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is undergoing back surgery Tuesday morning in Los Angeles, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
According to Schefter, the procedure is being performed by Dr. Robert Watkins, the same back surgeon who will operate on New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski later this month. Pierre-Paul reportedly played through his back injury last season, receiving "multiple epidural" shots to get through the season.
After coming off the bench as a rookie, Pierre-Paul, 24, has been a full-time starter the last two seasons, posting 23 sacks in his last 32 games. Pierre-Paul had a career-high 16.5 sacks during a breakout season in 2011, after which he was voted first-team All-Pro and named to his first Pro Bowl. Pierre-Paul returned to the Pro Bowl in 2012 after posting 6.5 sacks and returning his first career interception for a touchdown.
By undergoing back surgery this late in the offseason, Pierre-Paul will likely miss training camp and the preseason, though Schefter adds that Pierre-Paul is expected to be ready for September. The Giants can be expected to guard against not having Pierre-Paul for the Sept. 8 prime time season-opener against the Dallas Cowboys by placing the 2010 first-round pick out of South Florida on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp.
If Pierre-Paul is not ready for the start of the season, linebacker/defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka would get the start opposite Justin Tuck. Kiwanuka has been working at defensive end during the OTAs while 2013 third-round pick Damontre Moore learns the same hybrid linebacker/defensive end role that Kiwanuka has filled the last few seasons.
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