EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Oct. 13, 2005) -- New York Giants cornerback Will Peterson is expected to miss a minimum of four weeks with a lower back injury, potentially a more positive diagnosis than many around the team expected.
The fifth-year cornerback missed the Giants' 44-24 victory against St. Louis on Oct. 2 after experiencing pain in his lower back and has not practiced since then. The Giants had a bye last week.
Peterson, who at one point implied he might be out for the season, has been examined in the last week-and-a-half by Dr. Frank Cammisa, the Giants' spine specialist, and a second spine specialist in California, Dr. Robert Watkins. Coach Tom Coughlin said the doctors and team medical personnel are consulting with Peterson and Giants coaches.
"We're gathering information. There's a lot of options that are available at this time," he said. "There's the possibility of this being something that has to be considered over a 4-to-6-week period. We're just going to have to sit down with all the facts and make that decision."
When asked if he considered the 4-to-6 week range the minimum amount of time Peterson would be out, Coughlin replied, "That's probably right."
Peterson, who missed 11 games in 2003 with a stress fracture in his lower back, said he initially noticed the pain in a game against New Orleans on Sept. 19 and was told by the team's medical personnel he could play at San Diego the following week without causing further damage to the area.
He said the team's medical staff diagnosed a fracture of his lower back after he had an MRI exam before the San Diego game. Further tests after the game revealed that the pain was caused by "hot spots," or evidence of a developing stress fracture on the other side of the same bone he injured in 2003, according to Dr. Russell Warren, the Giants' team physician.
Peterson returned to New York this week after being examined in California but has not spoken to reporters.
Coughlin did not give a timetable for when a decision would be made on how much time Peterson will miss.
"We're not making any decision right now. Obviously we've been watching this very closely, talking with him and trying to see how he feels, talking to the various medical people. There's been a lot of discussion about this. We've got to make the right call here, and we're certainly not going to rush into it."
Second-year cornerback Curtis Deloatch has played in Peterson's place on a Giants pass defense that has given up the second-highest number of yards per game in the NFL this season. Rookie second-round draft pick Corey Webster has also played regularly in nickel and dime packages.
The Associated Press News Service
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