ALLEN PARK Mike Daniels Jersey , Mich. (AP) — Odell Beckham Jr. looks as if he has fully recovered from ankle surgery.
The New York Giants star receiver sounds like it, too.
“Just to be back in the swing of things, I just feel like I’m back in love with what I’ve always loved,” he said Thursday.
Giants coach Pat Shurmur declined to say if Beckham would play in his first preseason game Friday night against the Detroit Lions .
“I’ve got a plan,” he said. “It will get revealed.”
The 25-year-old Beckham broke his left ankle nearly 10 months ago, putting his short and stellar career in jeopardy. At the Lions’ training facility, there seemed no doubt Beckham is nearly healthy.
He ran sprints and made sharp cuts on his own, testing his ankle. The three-time Pro Bowler effortlessly made one-handed catches during drills. He also appeared to run full-speed routs against Detroit defensive backs, including All-Pro cornerback Darius Slay .
“I’ve been going against Slay since Mississippi State,” said Beckham Josh Sitton Jersey , a former LSU star. “Every time I see him, it’s always good energy. Obviously, he’s been one of the best corners in the league.”
And when healthy, Beckham is one of the NFL’s best receivers.
He averaged 96 catches, 1,374 yards receiving and nearly 12 touchdowns per year over his first three seasons. His last season was cut short in the fourth game, limiting him to 25 catches for 302 yards and three touchdowns.
As talented and accomplished as Beckham is, he acknowledged it was encouraging to face unfamiliar competition.
“It was a good confidence-builder,” he said. “We’ve been doing it in practice. You put the pads on, you go against somebody else. It was a lot of fun. It was much needed.”
The Giants don’t need to push rookie running back Saquon Barkley back onto the field with a strained left hamstring Sherrick McManis Jersey , and they probably will not in Detroit. The No. 2 overall pick was held out of practice for a third straight day and likely will not play in the team’s second preseason game.
Barkley acknowledged it was frustrating to watch practice. And, the former Penn State star said he could have prevented having his first hamstring injury.
“It’s about taking care of your body, treating your body, making sure you’re hydrated,” he said. “I thought I was doing all of those things right, but it kind of just showed me that even when you think you’re doing enough, you got to find a way to do more.”
Beckham, meanwhile, is preaching patience to Barkley because he also had a hamstring injury as a rookie in 2014.
“I told him, ‘Just take your time Adolphus Washington Jersey ,'” Beckham recalled. “There’s nothing you need to prove to any of us. There’s nothing you need to prove to anybody. You know what you’re capable of. … It’s just about getting healthy.”
The Detroit Tigers will aim for a three-game sweep when they square off against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Detroit (35-37) has equaled a season high with a four-game winning streak and will look to climb within one game of .500 for the first time since April 25. The Tigers have outscored opponents 19-11 during their streak.
Meanwhile, Chicago (24-45) has dropped three in a row but remains at .500 in June.
The head-to-head matchup between the American League Central rivals has been wildly lopsided this season. Detroit has won seven of eight games against Chicago, including five straight meetings in the White Sox’s park.
Tigers left-hander Blaine Hardy (2-1, 3.55 ERA) will try to keep the winning streak alive. The 31-year-old has walked nine and struck out 27 in 38 innings this season. This will be his 11th game and seventh start.
In 19 games (one start) against the White Sox, Hardy is 2-0 with a 3.91 ERA. He is coming off a quality start against the Minnesota Twins in which he allowed two runs and three hits in six innings.
Hardy credited his cutter-slider hybrid pitch for much of his recent success.
“I always go off feel,” Hardy told the Detroit News. “I don’t want to say that pitch kept them off balance, but every time I threw it, even if they were looking for it, it wasn’t a good swing. I don’t have a power fastball, so I might as well use my cutter as my fastball.”
White Sox right-hander James Shields (2-7 http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/zack-martin-jersey , 4.63) once possessed a power fastball, but at age 36 he has transformed into a more strategic pitcher. He has enjoyed more success — if not more victories — this season as his WHIP has dropped from 1.44 to 1.23 from 2017 to 2018.
Shields is 9-9 with a 4.44 ERA in 27 career starts against the Tigers. A victory on Sunday would give the veteran double-digit wins against four teams. He has 12 wins against the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays to go along with 11 wins against the Baltimore Orioles.
One hitter Shields will have to be careful around is Nicholas Castellanos, who slugged two home runs for the Tigers in Saturday’s 7-5 win. Castellanos drove in five runs and is hitting .310 with eight homers and 39 RBIs this season.
The White Sox are led at the plate by Jose Abreu, who is hitting .284 with 11 homers and 41 RBIs. He is a strong candidate to land his second All-Star Game appearance this summer.
Chicago shortstop Tim Anderson said he and his teammates were not discouraged despite their record.
“The confidence is always going to be high, the mood is always going to be great whether we win, lose or draw,” Anderson said. “We try not to get down on ourselves, but we try to stay within ourselves and not do too much. We approach the game every day in the same way.”
The White Sox are 12-23 at home this season. The Tigers are 12-20 on the road.
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