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Osi takes the field

New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora practices

New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora practices with the team for the first time during training camp. (Aug. 15, 2011) Credit: AP

It was a month ago today that Osi Umenyiora sprained his ankle in the game against the Saints. Today, he was back on the field for the first time, showing no signs of the injury.

He didn’t even have his ankles heavily taped or wrapped or braced, and there was certainly no limp when he was running through drills, jumping around on the field, cutting from one side to the other and working on a quick-step agility drill. It certainly seems like He’ll be able to play on Sunday, barring a setback.

“He’s tested everything – lots of times,” Tom Coughlin said. “He’s been working his tail off, he just hasn’t been able to get right.”

Apparently now he has.

That wasn’t the only good injury news for the Giants. Mario Manningham (knee) was doing some drills and stretching with the team even though Coughlin said he wasn’t going to practice. And Jake Ballard (knee) was doing some light running exercises off to the side and outside the fieldhouse during practice. There’s a chance both could be available on Sunday.

That will be important because the status of Hakeem Nicks remains up in the air. Nicks strained his hamstring in Saturday’s game against the Jets, Coughlin said, and he did not practice today.

“He kept on playing, to his credit,” Coughlin said of Nicks in the game. “He really didn’t have that other gear, which you probably observed. But that was the reason.”

Coughlin said he is “optimistic” he’ll have both Nicks and Manningham on Sunday.

“I’m optimistic right now that they’ll both be ready to go,” Coughlin said. “We have a little bit of time left. We’d like to see them both practice. That has not been something that’s been available all year long. We need that. We certainly need the timing work. I think that was something that was needed and we’re going to try to work on that this week.”

Besides Nicks, Mark Herzlich (ankle) and Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) sat out practice.

New York Sports