Osi Umenyiora doesn't know when Jason Pierre-Paul will be ready to return to the NFL, but Umenyiora is sure of one thing when it comes to his injured ex-teammate.
"He's just happy he's alive," said Umenyiora, who on Sunday night was inducted into the Giants' Ring of Honor. "All the stuff that he went through, as soon as he gets out there, he'll be OK."
Umenyiora doesn't know when that day might come, though.
"He just needs to get healthy first, and as soon as he does, he'll get out there," Umenyiora said. "Obviously, the team needs him. It's obvious for everybody to see that. We know what type of player he is. As soon as he's healthy, he'll come out. Hopefully before the end of the year, he'll be out there healthy."
Pierre-Paul suffered injuries to his right hand during a July 4 fireworks accident. He had the index finger on the hand amputated, and parts of his thumb and middle finger also were removed.
"I've talked to him, and he's in good spirits," Umenyiora said. "He seems happy."
Umenyiora said he has seen video clips Pierre-Paul has posted showing the defensive end working out on his own.
"I saw the video, but I haven't seen him in person, so I don't know," Umenyiora said. "He's still young, he's going to be able to play football. I don't know if it will be this year, but he's going to play."
Umenyiora was one of four men inducted into the Ring of Honor. He was joined by guard Chris Snee, a teammate of Umenyiora's on the Giants' 2007 and 2011 Super Bowl championship teams.
The others were John Johnson, 98, an athletic trainer for the team from 1948 to 2007, and former defensive end Jack Lummus, who played only nine games for the Giants in 1941 as a two-way end. In January 1942, Lummus gave up his football career to enlist in the Marine Corps Reserves. On March 8, 1945, Lummus was mortally wounded on Iwo Jima when he stepped on a land mine and lost his legs. On May 5, 1946, President Harry S. Truman signed a citation posthumously awarding the Medal of Honor to 1st Lt. Jack Lummus.
Umenyiora said joining the Ring of Honor is a huge accomplishment.
"This is one of the storied franchises in the NFL, so for my name to be up there with all those names that I've seen up there, this is a tremendous honor," said Umenyiora, who now serves as an NFL ambassador in London. He announced his retirement from the NFL in August.
"I literally just retired a little while ago. This wasn't something I was thinking about. I hoped at some point that it would happen, but I didn't know it was going to happen like this."