LINDEN, N.J. — Santonio Holmes is miles from the home stretch of returning from a season-ending left leg injury.

It won’t be until April — best case scenario — that Holmes will be able to begin running as he told members of the media in his first appearance since suffering a Lisfranc injury to his left foot at the start of the fourth quarter in Week 4’s 34-0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

“I knew the minute I didn’t get off the ground that my season was over,” Holmes, a carrier of the Sickle Cell trait, said at his third annual bowling event for his Third & Long Foundation to find a cure Sickle Cell Anemia where teammates Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight showed their support.

Sporting a large walking boot on his left leg, Holmes has spent the majority of his off time in his Florida home but recently went to the team’s practice facility in Florham Park, New Jersey to take part in the official team photo last week.

Santonio Holmes won't be able to start running again until April, as he told reporters Monday. ( Photo).

“[Being out of the game] puts you in a mind frame of relaxation, but at the same time it’s a recovery process I have to go through. Mentally it brings you down at times because you can’t be active. I’ve just expanded my mind by reading more and spending more time with my kids, being more supportive,” he said.

With no official time table to returning to football activity, Holmes is slated to have surgery in February to remove a plate that was inserted in his left foot for extra support. At the current moment, he was uncertain about his return in time for training camp next August.

When asked to weigh in on the Jets newest quarterback controversy, the controversial Super Bowl MVP didn’t take the bait.

“If I get involved in that, it’ll be the talk of the world. I’m going to stay on the IR list and keep it moving,” he joked with reporters, but did add that judging from what he saw on Sunday the “coaches, like everyone else, was impressed with Greg McElroy’s performance”.

That doesn’t mean, however, he hasn’t stayed in touch with head coach Rex Ryan and his teammates. He cited weekly phone calls and texts with Ryan as his main connection to the team while he’s rehabbing his left leg, but he still misses being around the football atmosphere.

“It made it hard for me to not be there for my guys — to support them. They were used to me being there and being supportive. It was just one of those things where you go in a shell and you come out when the timing’s right.”

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