Last week, the Giants feared Terrell Thomas' season might be finished. Now they hope it's just getting started.
Coach Tom Coughlin today announced that Thomas will return to the team's training camp at the University at Albany to begin rehabilitating his knee. Thomas today was examined by famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.
"We will try to rehab him and see how he does and if he can get back on the field, to do so," Coughlin said. "He's coming back to camp. He'll jump into a rehab program. We'll watch him very, very closely. We'll hopefully accelerate … the strengthening of the knee and see how soon he can join us and we'll hope for the very best."
Asked if the news was a best-case scenario, Coughlin said, "I think it is. That's the best way to put it."
Thomas was hurt in practice on July 29. After the knee swelled overnight, the Giants announced the following day that Thomas had "re-injured his (right) ACL." Thomas tore the ligament in a preseason game last Aug. 22 and had it surgically-repaired a month later. He missed the entire 2011 season.
After suffering the latest injury, Thomas was examined by Dr. Russell Warren, the Giants' team physician, Dr. Arthur Ting, who operated on him last year in San Francisco, and finally by Andrews.
Thomas did not undergo arthroscopic surgery, as the Giants thought he would soon after the injury was diagnosed. Coughlin did not say exactly what or how extensive the injury is.
"You have to take what the medical people have said and utilize that," Coughlin said. "The idea is that they would rehab Terrell and see if we can get him to a position where he can come back on the field. So that's what we're going to do."
Coughlin said he "wouldn't even guess" about a timetable for Thomas' possible return. The Giants first have to see how Thomas' knee responds to the rehabilitation.
"That's the whole idea is to find out," Coughlin said. "So here we go. He'll jump in there and I'm sure he'll go hard. He came to see me before he left for Birmingham and he told me he would call me. He felt very positive about it, before he left. He really doesn't have any pain. Does not feel instability. The knee was not swollen. He went down and Dr. Andrews pretty much agreed with what the other doctors had said and what they felt was, 'Let's try to rehab him and see how far we can… see if we can get him right back on the field.
"That would be wonderful if he went out there and did zig-zags and came off with no swelling. If he felt great and said ok what's next. But I can't tell you what the answer's going to be when he tries to do all that. "