The New York Football Giants announced today that starting fullback Henry Hynoski has been removed from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. The announcement was reported by Michael Eisen of Giants.com on the team's official website.
Hynoski injured his left knee on the first day of organized team activities (OTAs) in May and underwent knee surgery a few days later in hopes of being able to play in the first regular season game. With today's announcement it appears that there is a strong probability that Hynoski will be able to play against Dallas on September 8th.
"I did everything possible to get back at the earliest possible date, and it paid off. I'm very excited to be in the position that I am today," Hynoski said to reporters today.
While Hynoski was excited at his return, Giants' head coach Tom Coughlin was more guarded about his expectations for his starting fullback. "He just does individual. He just continues where he is and builds up to it. They’ll let us know. He said he’d be in here and here he is. A couple of weeks to go and here he is," Coughlin told reporters after today's practice.
And while Big Blue's coach was cautiously optimistic about Hynoski's return, Coughlin was effusive in his praise for the third-year man from Pitt. When asked how important Hynoski was to the Giants, Coughlin said, "Very. There aren’t many [fullbacks like him] around. Even today, when you look around in the league, there are not many guys that are 265 [lbs.] and have the skillset that Henry has as well."
Hynoski will not play in Saturday's contest against the rival New York Jets and did not think he would be cleared for the final pre-season against the New England Patriots the following week either.
"I’m not sure yet [about playing against New England], but I’m leaning towards that I kind of doubt that I will just because right now I’m warming up, doing individual and it’s a process from there on out. So I doubt by the end of the preseason I’ll be at that point, but probably relatively close. But we’ll see what the decision is when the time comes."
Repetitions against New England would seem to be ideal, but Hynoski is aiming for a return in the season opener in Dallas. He also realizes that the team doesn't need any setbacks in his recovery either.
"I’m hoping for it," Hynoski replied when asked if he would play against the Cowboys. "That’s my goal, but if it takes to Week 2 or 3, that’s fine. We have a very smart medical staff and trainers and they’re going to put me in the right position when they know I’m physically fit to be out there and performing at the best that I can."
"Thank you to everyone for all the support these past few months! You all were a big part of my motivation and will continue to be!" Hynoski posted on his Twitter account at 6:30 p.m. today.