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Matthias Kiwanuka cleared to play

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Matthias Kiwanuka cleared to play

Post  Big_Pete on Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:19 pm

from espn.com

Mathias Kiwanuka cleared to play

By Ohm Youngmisuk
ESPNNewYork.com
Archive

INDIANAPOLIS -- Mathias Kiwanuka has been medically cleared to resume his football career, according to New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese.

In a statement released by the team Saturday afternoon, Reese says the team received "final written evaluation" Friday evening that gave Kiwanuka clearance to return. Reese said he spoke with the defensive end, who plans on resuming his career after suffering a herniated disk in his neck that kept him out of all but the first three games last season.

"We did receive the final written evaluation that gives Mathias medical clearance to return to the field," Reese says in the statement. "The consensus of all of the spine physicians and Dr. [Russ] Warren is that it is safe for Mathias to return to play. I have talked to Mathias and he is fully committed to returning to football."

Earlier Saturday morning, Reese told reporters at the NFL scouting combine that Kiwanuka was still gathering information from doctors on his neck injury and whether he can resume playing.

Reese also said Kiwanuka would have to make a decision whether he wanted to play again once he was cleared, with the potential risk of suffering another injury.

But after his news conference, Reese spoke with Ronnie Barnes, vice president of medical services, who confirmed that the team had received Kiwanuka's clearance.

Kiwanuka is the Giants' most versatile defensive player and was thriving in coordinator Perry Fewell's system. He had four sacks in his first three games of the season, even playing some linebacker for Fewell, until he was sidelined with the neck ailment that eventually ended his season.

Kiwanuka's contract is up and Reese has said that the Giants will have to determine whether to offer the defensive end a one-year deal to re-establish his worth coming off the injury.

"We'll figure that out," Reese said. "The first bridge that we have to cross [is], is he available to play?"

The Giants now have an answer to that.
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Re: Matthias Kiwanuka cleared to play

Post  Big_Pete on Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:20 pm

and

Mathias Kiwanuka given green light to return, GM says Giants DE 'fully committed' to playing again

BY Ralph Vacchiano
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Originally Published:Saturday, February 26th 2011, 12:28 PM
Updated: Saturday, February 26th 2011, 3:03 PM

INDIANAPOLIS - It's too early to tell if Mathias Kiwanuka will be able to salvage his NFL career, but five months after suffering a herniated disc in his neck, he's finally been cleared to try.

The 27-year-old defensive end was given the green light by team doctors and trainers on Friday night to return to the field as part of his continuing rehabilitation, the Giants announced Saturday afternoon. The statement from GM Jerry Reese also said that Kiwanuka is "fully committed" to playing again, despite the possible risks to his long-term health.

In fact, just hours before that announcement was made, Reese said those risks were so great that he felt it was "a possibility" Kiwanuka would never play football again. Speaking to reporters at the NFL's annual scouting combine, Reese said that due to the nature of the injury, "He's got to make a decision: Do I want to play?"

Apparently, he already had.

"After I spoke to the media this morning at the combine, I had a conversation with (head trainer) Ronnie Barnes, who confirmed for me that last night we did receive the final written evaluation that gives Mathias medical clearance to return to the field," Reese said in his statement. "The consensus of all of the spine physicians and Dr. (Russ) Warren is that it is safe for Mathias to return to play.

"I have talked to Mathias and he is fully committed to returning to football."

The question now becomes: How committed are the Giants to him? He is not signed for the 2011 season and will likely be an unrestricted free agent when a new NFL collective bargaining agreement is finally signed. Back in January, after the Giants' season was over, Reese admitted that Kiwanuka's injury complicated their plans.

"Do we offer him a one year deal so that he can re-establish his value," Reese said, "or do we go in a different direction?"

The problem is the nature of the injury. A herniated disc can be a recurring problem, especially since Kiwanuka chose not to have surgery to completely fix the problem. There will be no way for the Giants to know how the disc will handle contact and the stress of football until he begins taking part in live drills.

"When you talk about neck injuries, (former Giants linebacker) Antonio Pierce had a neck injury and boom, it was over, just like that," Reese said. "Neck injuries are serious injuries. We have to be careful with those."

Another problem is that Kiwanuka will most likely have to continue his rehab on his own. Reese said he's been rehabbing at the Giants' Meadowlands practice facility, but he won't be allowed to be there if the NFL locks out its players on Friday, as expected. If that happens, the Giants won't be able to have any contact with Kiwanuka, making it difficult for them to monitor his progress.

But at least they'll head into that uncertainty with a little good news. As Reese said earlier in the day, "The first bridge we have to cross is: Is he available to play?"

For now, it appears that he is.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/2011/02/26/2011-02-26_mathias_kiwanukas_neck_injury_could_end_his_football_career_says_giants_gm_jerry.html#ixzz1F6sisCu0


Last edited by Big_Pete on Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Matthias Kiwanuka cleared to play

Post  Big_Pete on Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:21 pm

This quote by GM Jerry Reese sums up the situation pretty well

"Do we offer him a one year deal so that he can re-establish his value," Reese said, "or do we go in a different direction?"
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Re: Matthias Kiwanuka cleared to play

Post  Pizan on Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:13 am

It seems to me he's trying to steer other teams away from Kiwi. Doc said he's good, Kiwi said he's good, Reese acted like a doctor saying neck injuries are hard to comeback from and that its up to Kiwi down playing what the real doc and kiwi actually said. Yep, he's trying to scare teams off.
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Re: Matthias Kiwanuka cleared to play

Post  56 Crazed Dogs on Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:57 pm

Pizan wrote:It seems to me he's trying to steer other teams away from Kiwi. Doc said he's good, Kiwi said he's good, Reese acted like a doctor saying neck injuries are hard to comeback from and that its up to Kiwi down playing what the real doc and kiwi actually said. Yep, he's trying to scare teams off.
Guess I can't blame Reese for that
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