He told you he was hurt!
After just four practices following his return from a second opinion about his bothersome right knee, Osi Umenyiora underwent arthroscopic surgery on the joint.
The pass-rushing defensive end who finished last season with 11 1/2 sacks and a 10 forced fumbles will miss three to six weeks as he watches second-year player Jason Pierre-Paul play in his starting spot over left tackle. The official statement from the team says he could miss three to four weeks.
Umenyiora's situation serves as justification for what went on the tail end of his attempted contract negotiations. Just when it appeared he was ready to leave his perch on the stationary bike and return to drills, he complained that his knee was bothering him. The complaint was met with initial skepticism, and some inside the team considered it a possible negotiating ploy.
But coach Tom Coughlin, who was as eager as anyone to see the sacker get back to work, said the surgery announcement came as no surprise. He also hoped that Umenyiora would be available for the Sept. 11 opener, though it's likely he'll be out longer.
"I don't know about that," Coughlin said. "Maybe he comes back fast. Maybe it's three weeks."
Umenyiora told GM Jerry Reese of the surgery -- "a simple debridement," to remove scar tissue around an old college injury, according to VP of medical services Ronnie Barnes -- Thursday night. Doctors had told him he could play through it with sufficient rest during the week. But his knee swelled up Thursday.
"Osi called me at the end of the day yesterday to let me know that he wanted to have the surgery now," Reese said in a statement released by the team. "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 do it without the knee being an issue for him."
Umenyiora said in his own statement, "Better to do it now as opposed to mid season. 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."
Pierre-Paul, meanwhile, showed well in his preseason opener outing against Carolina. He had been working first team during Umenyiora's unofficial holdout, anyway, so he will likely slip seamlessly into his spot.
Backups like Dave Tollefson will also be used in combination to fill the void, Coughlin said.
"We just keep going. We'll keep going, thinking in terms of him being back," Coughlin said. "We'll use different combinations and (Dave) Tollefson will obviously be involved more with each combination and there will be some packages that we won't be able to use but probably we wouldn't use them anyway in preseason. So hopefully these other guys will take full advantage of the playtime and the practice time. We had a couple of issues the other day and some of these young kids got a chance to go. I thought it would be a good idea to play some of these guys extensively anyway."