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Giants vets' return to field could be delayed

Several Giants veterans have been eagerly looking forward to Thursday -- when players who have signed new contracts or re-structured existing contracts were expected to be allowed to practice for the first time this preseason.

But those players might have to wait a little longer now, since the new CBA has yet to be ratified. (That's what is prohibiting those players, including Ahmad Bradshaw, Mathias Kiwanuka and Brandon Jacobs, from joining their teammates in practice.)

"There are still some different remaining issues that need to be hammered out," said Giants offensive lineman Kareem McKenzie, who has taken over as the Giants' players union rep for Shaun O'Hara, who was released by the team last week.

Assistant player rep Zak DeOssie indicated that health benefits was one of the holdups in the final deal: "The major hiccup is just working on the benefits, and making sure we can meet in the middle somewhere there."

Neither McKenzie nor assistant player rep DeOssie sounded very concerned about the CBA ultimately being ratified. And the ratification could still take place in time for these players to practice on Thursday. But there are certainly no guarantees.

"If I had a crystal ball, I wish I could tell you," McKenzie said.

"I can't see it going any further than a couple of days," DeOssie said. "Both sides have vested interests in getting this deal done as soon as possible."