Osi Says He's Close -- And Other Things

Osi Umenyiora conducted a wide-ranging interview with reporters Thursday, his first since training camp. Here's some of what he said.

Osi Umenyiora won't be in uniform come Sunday in Philadelphia, which was expected. He's still not quite there in his rehab from arthroscopic knee surgery, but he said he's getting close.

Umenyiora opened up to the media for the first time since training camp Wednesday and talked about his health and his contract situation.

As far as the knee goes, he said he's "Close, real close." to returning to the field. But he said he needed at least another week after trying it out on the field last week.

"After practice it would swell up and I'd have to work all night to get the swelling down and then I'd go out there and it would swell up again," Umenyiora said. "So there was really no way I would be able to make it through the season like that."

As for this week, he wouldn't rule himself out completely, but logic dictates that he probably won't be back until October. The Giants could leave him behind when they fly out to Arizona next week.

"If Dr. (Russell) Warren and (Vice President of Medical Services) Ronnie Barnes tell me it's okay to go out there and play," he said. "If Coach Coughlin tells me that he needs me to go out there and play, then I'll go out there and play."

Umenyiora also said he'd consider re-signing with the Giants after his contract is up after 2012. But, he reminded everyone, "I'm no dummy, so we'll see what happens."

It's no secret that Umenyiora is super angry over the fact that the Giants have refused to renegotiate his current deal. He staged a one-day holdout at the start of training camp. He filed an affidavit under the now-settled Brady case as a stab at leverage. Nothing worked.

But he said he's done pushing for a redo, until after the season, at least.

"I don't even think about that man," he said. "At this point, if I think about that, I'm going to go out there and play bad, that's the way I feel. Once I made the decision to come back to play, that was it man. I just decided I was going to come back and play."

On whether he thought his contract would be redone this year: "I thought something was going to be done. I really, really thought that, but unfortunately it didn't. I think if you look at what's going on over these last couple of months especially with other players who are in the same situation as I am, you see that teams are re-doing their contracts with no problem. I felt like it was something that was going to happen, but it didn't. Every team operates differently."

He said signing the incentive-laden contract he rejected during training camp, which he labeled unacceptable, would have been repeating a mistake he made when he signed his current deal. He is due to make $7.1 million over the final two years.

"I made that mistake before," Umenyiora said. "I signed something at the time that I thought was good, but in retrospect, turned out to not be right for me, and I just can't make that same mistake again. If I do that then it seems like something has been done when in retrospect nothing has been done. So I'll just take my chances and keep playing and see what happens."

When he'll actually start playing remains up in the air. The bet here is that he doesn't return until October.

And Umenyiora didn't dispute that.

"I could have dragged this injury thing out this whole year and not had surgery and continued to say that I was hurt and didn't want to play," he said. "But the fact of the matter is that I wanted to get back on the football field to help this team so they told me it was going to be a 4-6 week recovery which would make me miss 2-3 weeks, which is where ewe pretty much are right now."

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