- Last Updated: 10:49 AM, May 24, 2012
- Posted: 1:38 AM, May 24, 2012
It did not take long into the Giants’ first Organized Team Activity workout of the spring for the first injury to hit the Super Bowl champions.
Cornerback Brian Witherspoon, attempting a return after missing the entire 2011 season, went down yesterday in a coverage drill. Head coach Tom Coughlin announced afterward the initial diagnosis was Witherspoon re-tore his left anterior cruciate ligament.
Witherspoon, 26, tore the ACL in his left knee for the first time last Aug. 22 in a preseason game against the Bears, the same night starting cornerback Terrell Thomas went down with a torn ACL. Thomas is taking his time coming back and is expected to be ready to roll for training camp.
Witherspoon never made it out of the first OTA. He had to be helped off the field and eventually was carted off, keeping his helmet on and hanging his head as he was driven away.
Another cornerback, Antwaun Molden, pulled up holding the back of his left leg while covering a deep pass. He was carted off with a hamstring injury. Molden played for the Patriots against the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI and was signed as a free agent.
The Giants hope this does not begin a repeat of last offseason’s spate of injuries. It is in incredibly tough break for Witherspoon, a four-year veteran who previously played sparingly for the Jaguars and Lions and was set to make the Giants roster last season based on a strong preseason showing.
“It was tough to see him go down,’’ Thomas said. “He’s one of my teammates. We kind of had the same injury — it kind of hit home with me.’’
Thomas has said all along he is ahead of schedule and he will hold himself out of practice until he believes his knee can handle the workload.
“I’m in no rush,’’ Thomas said. “I’ve been saying it from Day 1. ... I’m going to do what I can and going to keep pushing it. But I’m not going to rush it at all.’’
Thomas participated in individual drills in the OTA and said he might sit out today. He insists he will be “full-go’’ by the time the Giants head to the University at Albany for training camp, which opens July 26.
* As expected, defensive end Osi Umenyiora was not on the scene. Rookie tight end Adrien Robinson is still in classes at Cincinnati and did not attend. ... With Will Beatty sitting out while recovering from a detached retina, second-year pro James Brewer got some work at left tackle with the starting offensive line. David Diehl played right tackle. ... Free safety Antrel Rolle was the only starter in the secondary on the field participating in practice.
* Starting in 2013, all players will be required to wear thigh and knee pads during games, a requirement that has not been very well received.
“I’ve never known it to make or break whether you get an injury or not,’’ linebacker Michael Boley said. “I’ve had times where I’ve actually had thigh pads on and I’ve gotten a deep thigh bruise. To me it really doesn’t matter.’’
* First-round pick David Wilson said he was not awe-struck taking the field with the Super Bowl champs.
“It’s not, ‘Oh man, it’s Eli Manning,’ ’’ said the running back from Virginia Tech. “He’s a great quarterback, but now we’re teammates and we need to work together. I don’t have no time to idolize him. He’s my teammate now. We’re going to go out and compete together, eventually.’’Follow @NYPostsports