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Kiwanuka hopeful of returning next week

Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, who missed last night’s game against the Bears because of a bulging disc in his neck, said after the game that he hoped to return as soon as next week.
Kiwanuka will visit with a neck specialist today for a second opinion, but believes returning for next Sunday’s game against the Texans is possible.
“There’s legitimate hope for next week, based on what people have told me,” he said. “I haven’t seen all the doctors yet, but between that and how I feel, I feel like I could play.”
Kiwanuka experienced stiffness in his neck late in the week and had tests done that revealed a disc problem. “It was enough to shut me down for the week,” he said. “Hopefully I can come back next week.”
Kiwanuka said he spoke to former Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce, who was forced into retirement because of a neck problem.
“I’m not in the same situation [as Pierce],” he said. “There are a lot of different things that go into his injury. I lucked out in that sense. We’ll just say that his is a lot more severe.”
Kiwanuka said he was told his neck condition is fairly common in the NFL. “A lot of people around the league have them,” he said. “Just like the concussion talk is bigger now, spine talk will be a lot bigger in the future.”

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