New York Giants' defensive end Osi Umenyiora will play on despite being told he needs surgery to correct a troublesome hip condition, according to a report this morning by Mike Garafolo of the Star-Ledger.
Earlier this month, Umenyiora traveled to the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colo., to visit noted hip specialist Marc Philippon, according to someone informed of the trip and Philippon's diagnosis. The person, who requested anonymity because neither the Giants nor Umenyiora's camp has discussed his condition, said Philippon recommended surgery to repair side effects from a torn hip flexor that kept Umenyiora out of five games in 2006.
The person said Philippon, who has performed hip surgeries on the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, the Ravens' Ed Reed, former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and several other high-profile athletes, scheduled Umenyiora's operation for the near future. But Philippon, Umenyiora and the Giants' medical staff eventually agreed to pass on surgery for now and try to manage the injury because he won't make it worse by playing through it.
A Giants spokesman declined comment. Umenyiora's agent, Tony Agnone, wrote in a text message he was unavailable to speak on the matter because he was visiting clients Monday. Umenyiora, who will report to training camp with his teammates on Sunday, could not be reached for comment.
Umenyiora has been able to play through and manage his hip pain the past few seasons. He led the Giants with seven sacks last season and had 13 in 2007 before missing all of 2008 with a knee injury. However, this spring the hip injury was worse than it had been during recent off-seasons. The Giants even cited the hip as a reason for his being absent from an organized team activities practice.
I have two immediate thoughts. First, you have to wonder how much the hip will affect his performance. Perhaps playing limited snaps will end up being a necessity. Secondly, with this news the first-round selection of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul doesn't look quite so much like a 'luxury' pick anymore.