Prince Amukamara sprains ankle

Updated: August 25, 2012, 7:56 AM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara suffered a high ankle sprain in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Chicago Bears on Friday night and may be out several weeks.

It is a potentially tough blow for the defending Super Bowl champions, who watched their starting cornerback get injured 12 days before their season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 5.

"It is not a fracture," coach Tom Coughlin said of the injury to Amukamara, who underwent X-rays that were negative. "They were saying high ankle. Dr. (Russ) Warren thought it was mild. I don't like that term 'high ankle.' If it a mild sprain, perhaps, it is not going to take as much time getting back."

Coughlin said Amukamara injured himself on an end-around run by Devin Hester with under five minutes left in the first quarter. On the next play, Amukamara made a tackle on Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall on an 8-yard catch with four minutes left in the quarter before he was carted off the field.

For the second straight preseason, the Giants lost a starting cornerback because of injury in a game against the Bears. Last preseason, Terrell Thomas tore his right ACL against the Bears. He had surgery and rehabbed but then reaggravated his ACL early in training camp.

Amukamara, last year's first-round pick, stepped in and started in place of Thomas, who remains out indefinitely while he rehabs his knee.

The Giants now have three of their top six cornerbacks -- Thomas, Amukamara and third-round pick Jayron Hosley (turf toe) -- sidelined by injuries.

"I'm glad it is only an ankle sprain," defensive end Justin Tuck said. "You get carted off, you start thinking the worst. He was playing well and making strides. I hope this doesn't set him back too much. He is definitely going to be a part of our success on defense, being that second corner opposite Corey (Webster)."

"We are going to need him to get back in a hurry. Hopefully, it isn't something that keeps him out for weeks."

Amukamara missed the first nine games of his rookie season last year with a broken left foot. He had an injection in the foot during the offseason to help strengthen it.

Bruce Johnson, Michael Coe and Justin Tryon are among the veteran cornerbacks who may step in and start if Amukamara is out indefinitely.

"We got a lot of athletes back there and some of our safeties can drop down and play the nickel and things like that," Tuck said. "Obviously, (safety Antrel Rolle) has done it and (safety) Will Hill is stepping up and doing it and we will get Hosley back. I think we will be fine there."

Also Friday night, linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka suffered a strained groin on the final play of the first half.

"I feel good," Kiwanuka said. "I dont think it's anything serious, nothing that should affect me for the beginning of the season."

Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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