David Diehl emphatically celebrates a Giants win. (Oct. 7, 2010)

David Diehl emphatically celebrates a Giants win. (Oct. 7, 2010) Credit: David Pokress

Remember about 20 hours ago when the Giants’ offensive line had a new look? Scratch that one.

The Giants will return to the lab to concoct another five-man compound on their offensive line after veteran tackle-turned-guard David Diehl was diagnosed with instability in his right thumb which will require surgery. Diehl will be out for six weeks, meaning that another gap on the line must be filled.

Yesterday the Giants dealt with the loss of center David Baas for a sprained MCL by moving guard Kevin Boothe to center, replacing Boothe with Diehl at left guard, and putting rookie Justin Pugh at right tackle. That seemed to be the configuration they thought would bring them into the regular season.

Now, though, they’ll have to either replace Diehl with James Brewer or Brandon Mosley or move Boothe back to guard and replace him at center with Jim Cordle.

“Regardless, we’ll be fine,” Boothe said. “We’ll regroup. Unfortunately we’ve had experiences with guys going down, so we’ll respond.”

Diehl showed up yesterday with a cast on his right hand that he dismissed.

“I got hurt during the game but I will be alright,” he said on Tuesday before participating fully in practice. “I’ve played through everything once before already.”

Even Tom Coughlin called the injury a “nuisance thing” after Tuesday’s practice and said it would not affect Diehl. But an MRI and examination by Dr. Robert Hotchkiss at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan showed otherwise.

This will be the first time in his career that Diehl will miss an opening day as a starter. He’s been in the lineup at the beginning of the season for the Giants in each of his first 10 years.

“Dave’s injury is a tough one,” Boothe said. “If anybody can play through it Dave can so for it to be that significant it’s something that needed attention now.”

However the Giants reconfigure their already reconfigured line, they will have at least two inexperienced players somewhere along it. Pugh is a rookie while any of the other players vying for the newly opened position have little to no game experience.

“That’s the name of the game,” Boothe said. “I know they’re definitely excited for the opportunity. I know James and Brandon, I know they’re always itching to get in there. This is their chance now.”

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