ALBANY -- Terrell Thomas will likely miss a second straight season after an MRI Monday revealed what a source called a "partial tear" to his ACL. The injury might require a third surgery on his right knee, putting his comeback on hold and his career in jeopardy.
Thomas had an MRI in New York yesterday after slipping and injuring his already twice-repaired ACL during a one-on-one drill in Sunday's practice.
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"Terrell reinjured his ACL," Giants senior vice president of medical services Ronnie Barnes said. "At this point, he will most likely undergo an arthroscopic procedure to determine the extent of the injury to the ACL. However, no decision has been made at this point. Terrell is going to consult with Dr. [Arthur] Ting, who performed an allograft reconstruction of the ACL in September."
Ting also performed Thomas' first ACL reconstruction in 2005 when he was playing at USC.
Thomas went down on the grass at the University at Albany on Sunday while covering Domenik Hixon in a one-on-one drill. He remained in practice a little longer but was soon on the sideline with his right knee packed in ice. He shed the ice pack after practice and was doing some extra drills catching footballs. He also spoke to Tom Coughlin at that time.
"He walked up to me after practice, he thought he felt good, he didn't really seem to have any issues," Coughlin said Monday, "and then this morning when he came back in, he was swollen, so they sent him to [the Hospital for Special Surgery]."
Thomas missed all of the 2011 season after tearing his ACL early in the third quarter of a preseason game against the Bears.
The Giants struggled to replace him and four other cornerbacks who were ultimately lost for the season.
Thomas re-signed with the Giants during the offseason and said he was ready for the start of training camp. He managed to complete only one practice, though. The first workout Friday, he had to leave early with a back spasm. He participated fully Saturday and then Sunday was removed after his slip.
"I'm definitely prepared," Thomas said before the first practice. "I have a great team of doctors and the training staff here worked with me and allowed time for my knee to get stronger and to build around it. I have no limitations. I don't think I'll second-guess any time I fall or jump or anything. The biggest thing is getting back into football shape, you know, covering, tackling, press technique, all of the little things that I wasn't able to do in rehab."
The Giants protected themselves against the chances of Thomas reinjuring the knee in their contract with him. Although the total of the deal was $28.4 million over four years, the Giants have a $6-million option in March, which they could use to get out of the contract. They already have paid Thomas a $1-million signing bonus and if he remains on the team for the season -- even if it is on injured reserve -- he would get another $1 million.
Thomas is also the latest in a string of current and former Giants players to suffer a second ACL injury. Hixon and linebacker Clint Sintim both suffered their second injuries last season. Defensive back Brian Witherspoon also suffered a second ACL tear this spring.
And this weekend, former Giants linebacker Jonathan Goff, now with the Redskins, suffered a second torn ACL within the year.