It's not often that a player returns from an injury in the spring. Typically those who are injured in the offseason program stay that way, remaining on the sideline to avoid further damage. There is no rush to bring them back, caution being the main objective.

But third-round pick Owa Odighizuwa wanted to make sure he was the exception.

After missing most of the voluntary team workouts and OTAs with a leg injury, the defensive end was able to get back on the field late last week and he participated in all three practices of this week's minicamp.

"Getting Owa back out there was big," Tom Coughlin said. "He only had a couple, three days here, but he showed us why he is here, so that was important."

Important to the team, and important to Odighizuwa as well.

"I was banged up a little bit and the trainers wanted to be smart, but I knew I would be back towards the end," Odighizuwa said. "The fact that I got to put more stuff on film besides the rookie minicamp was good for me."

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It was also helpful, he said, to get his first experience with full team snaps under his belt before training camp.

"It was big-time for me," he said. "I feel like I made some strides and I know what I have to work on and things that I did well. I'm excited about the whole thing."

And camp, he said, will not be an issue for him and his injury.

"That won't even be a question," he said. "They just wanted to be smart to make sure that when I get back out there I have nothing lingering or nagging anymore."