New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin today refused to rule Osi Umenyiora out for the season opener Sept. 11 against the Washington Redskins despite the arthroscopic knee surgery the defensive end had this morning at the Hospital For Special Surgery in Manhattan.
Umenyiora said this was "the best decision for the team" in a statement released by the Giants this morning.
"It was better to do it now as opposed to mid-season," said Umenyiora, the Giants’ two-time Pro Bowler. "It was going to have to be done, the only question was when. If I'm going to miss a little while, I would prefer it be now than at the crucial part of our season. It's the best decision for the team and myself."
Umenyiora practiced for three days this week, apparently suffering swelling in the knee after each practice.
"Osi called me at the end of the day yesterday to let me know that he wanted to have the surgery now," General Manager Jerry Reese said. "After practicing for three days he had some swelling in the knee, and it was clear that we were going to have to adjust his practice routine to every other day to maintain his knee. Osi’s feeling is he wants to get it cleaned up now because he is looking forward to playing this season, and he wants to (play) without the knee being an issue for him. He told me how much he really enjoyed being back on the field this week, and he’s looking forward to getting back out there once he recovers from the procedure."
The problem with all of this, of course, is Umenyiora's failure to practice for the first three weeks of camp. Had he began practice when camp started and made this decision during the first week of camp he would now be close to the end of his recovery period, and his status for the beginning of the season would not be in doubt.