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When will WR Odell Beckham return to field?


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** Odell Beckham Jr.'s football spring hasn't unfolded as he had hoped, but at least now he has futbol to look forward to.


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The Giants' first-round draft choice has missed several of the team's organized team activities (OTAs) with a hamstring strain. He hopes to return to the field for the Giants' minicamp next week. In the meantime, the former soccer standout and current fan will closely follow the World Cup, which began today in Brazil.

"I'm definitely excited to watch it," said Beckham, a wide receiver from LSU. "(I'll) catch games whenever I can. I'm more focused on the NBA Finals right now. Hopefully, the Heat pull it off tonight."

So does Beckham have a favorite soccer team?

"I really like Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo (who plays for Portugal's national team), just respect greatness," Beckham said. "Him and (Lionel) Messi from Barcelona (and Argentina)."

Had Beckham's athletic career taken a different turn, he might be preparing to face Ghana as a member of the U.S. team instead of learning the Giants' offense and anticipating his NFL debut.

"My coach actually tried to get me on the national team when I was like 13 or 14," Beckham said. "But to do the soccer thing, you really have to go overseas and stuff like that, and it was a decision at a young age that I really didn't want to leave my family. It was kind of one of those things that I had to let it go even though I still think about it to this day. Soccer is my first love."

Since he was the 12th overall selection in the NFL Draft, Beckham seems to have made the correct decision. Now he just wants to get back on the field.

"(I'm feeling) a lot better," Beckham said. "I was running around today, running routes and dancing in the locker room, so I feel pretty good."

Asked when he might get permission to return, Beckham said, "I don't know, it's still in the training room. I'm pretty sure next week I'll be back up and running. Just looking forward to it, keep day-by-day progressing."

Fellow receiver Rueben Randle, a close friend and former LSU teammate of Beckham's, understands the challenge of trying to get on the field as a rookie receiver.

"I think he's picking up on it pretty well," Randle said. "Even though he's not practicing, he's on the sideline listening to the plays and getting mental reps, so he's picking it up. He just has to be back out there."

Beckham said he has no pain in the hamstring.

"Just being cautious, just being OTAs right now, we're all learning the playbook," he said. "As long as you're still learning the playbook, then I guess it's not really a big deal.

"I'm not really concerned. Just as long as you're learning the playbook, when you get back … it will be more of a comfortable situation."

  • The Giants ended practice today with a two-minute drill that lasted just one play when Eli Manning threw a long pass to Rueben Randle that was called a touchdown, prompting one defensive player, who shall remain anonymous, to say, "I don't know whether to be happy or mad."

"We always try to do that," Randle said. "That's the main focus, as soon as we get in the huddle, we know we have two minutes. We try to make that first play our impression. Today happened to me and it's pretty exciting."

  • Earlier in practice, Randle staggered briefly after he seemed to suffer an injury. Moments later, he returned to the huddle.

"I just got hit in the wrong area," Randle said. "That's all that was. I didn't get hurt, somebody just happened to mis-swat the ball, and I got the bad end of it."

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