Giants rookie safety Kenny Phillips during training camp at the...

Giants rookie safety Kenny Phillips during training camp at the University at Albany. Credit: Newsday / David L. Pokress

For months we’ve been hearing about how Kenny Phillips was on track to be back for the start of training camp. It even became a bit of a running joke in the locker room. Phillips would walk by and I’d ask him “Still looking to the start of training camp?” and he’s smile and nod.

Well, the start of training camp is here and guess what – Phillips will not be on the field with the team. Tom Coughlin said today that Phillips will start the preseason on the physically unable to perform list as a precaution. That means he will not be allowed to practice with the team and will be relegated to other exercises and drills by himself.

“We’re not going to put him right out there and I agree with it,” Coughlin said in our segment of a series of one-on-one interviews the coach conducted with beat reporters. “Our trainers and our rehab people and our doctors have worked with him since Day One. All we’re going to do is extend and continue that to assess exactly where we’re at. The plan, if everything goes according to Hoyle, would be that within a week or at the most a couple of weeks, we’ll have him. When we do it’s probably going to be one a day.”

Coughlin said it’s important that he not be rushed back on the field, especially since it’s been a while since Giants medical staff has worked with him.

“We’re going to move him back accordingly coming off serious surgery,” he said. “We’ll move him into his practice time in training camp according to what the assessment is as soon as our people get their hands back on him.”

The Giants don’t want to put him out there and have him suffer a physical setback. But with Phillips so geared up to be out there for the start of camp, there could be an emotional setback for him.

“All it is is a precaution,” Coughlin said. “I think that he will understand that. He’s going to be anxious to get out there, and I like that about Kenny. That’s the way he is. If you looked in his eyes when the decision was made that he really needed to have the surgery and to go on IR, it’s so much different from when you saw him from March on. That’s never stopped. He smiles, everything he does there is no swelling.

“I have no reason to think that he’s not going to be joining us very shortly.”

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