Giants Defensive End Osi Umenyiora Returns to Practice
East Rutherford, NJ
New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora made a surprise return to practice Wednesday after missing four-straight games with an ankle injury.
The All-Pro end looked quick and nimble on that ankle despite being listed under limited participation. Umewnyiora injured the ankle in a paltry Nov. 28 loss in New Orleans.
The news of his return was well received by Giants players, who are anxious to see what Umenyiora and recent Pro Bowl selection Jason Pierre-Paul will do in a battle with the Cowboys Sunday for the NFC East crown.
"You can't replace Osi Umenyiora," fellow defensive end Dave Tollefson told reporters. "You can only keep the seat warm for a guy like that. Jason has been everything and plus some. The guy has played his butt off, he's humble and he's hungry and now we get another Pro Bowl guy back? Come on. Could you ask for anything better?"
The Giants do have to contend with injuries to two of their top three receivers, including Hakeem Nicks, who had three ctaches for 163 yards in New York's 37-34 win over the Cowboys Dec. 11. Nicks did not practice but is expected to play Sunday along with Mario Manningham.
Tight end Jake Ballard (knee), running back Ahmad Bradshaw (foot) and linebacker Mark Herzlich (ankle) were the only other Giants not to practice on Wednesday.
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