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Overblown: Osi’s hip injury

Garafolo sensationalized Osi’s hip injury.

Newark Star-Ledger’s Mike Garafolo provided us with fodder about Osi Umenyiora.  In an exclusive news story which was initially reported only by Garafolo,  we learned Osi has a serious hip flexor injury.  The timing of this story is fishy.  With less than a week prior to the opening of training camp, why are we first hearing about this injury?  Is this being blown out of proportion?  Does someone have a hidden agenda?

Garafolo cited an anonymous source for his information.  Besides providing dirt about where Osi went and what supposedly happened at his doctor’s visit, we do not know the severity and extent of his hip flexor.   According to the web site Sports Injury Info,  the hip flexor is made up of three different muscles.  Does Osi have one or a combination of these muscles injured?  Although Osi visited a prominent surgeon Dr. Marc Philippon, generally speaking,  surgeons want to CUT.  And Garafolo’s report does not mention Osi seeking a second opinion. 

In a subsequent report, Garafolo defended his reporting.  I was somewhat reluctant to do this entry and follow-up story because I didn’t want to get into a media semantics battle. After all, nothing drives me nuts more than when we become the story. We’re not the story; the story is the story.   

 Is this damage control on behalf of Garafolo?  In this report, Osi’s agent Tony Agnone goes on record to talk about his client’s injury.  Agnone says, “(Dr. Marc) Philippon wanted to perform surgery immediately, right after he looked at the MRI, yes,” Agnone said by phone. “He looked at his schedule for that day and told Osi, ‘I have some time this afternoon and can do this right away.’ He was getting ready to do it.”

Perhaps, at the last minute, Osi had a change of heart.  He needed more time to think about undergoing surgery.  Based on the information provided by Agnone:   Agnone did say he foresees a work stoppage next year when the collective bargaining agreement expires, and he views such an event as a perfect time for his client to undergo and fully recover from surgery.  

This suggests Osi has something to prove and wants to play at a high level in 2010.  If he has a fantastic season in 2010 and whenever a new CBA is hammered out, Osi could cash in.  Currently, Osi is under contract until 2011.  He is scheduled to make 3,100,000 in 2010, and 3,125,000 in 2011.  Remember in June 2008, Osi was unhappy with the contract he signed in 2005.  Despite being upset with his contract, he did not hold out.  At the time,  Osi put the team before him.  Unfortunately, in 2008, he had a serious season ending knee injury. And last season, with a feeble minded defensive coordinator, Osi struggled. Because he had trouble with his run defense, Osi was benched.  Since then, it has been a soap opera.   First, if Osi does not win a starting job, he was going to retire. Then, there were rumors about him being traded on Draft day.  Next, with their first round selection, the Giants drafted a defensive end- Jason Pierre-Paul.   Pierre-Paul could be his possible replacement at right end.  However, I do not see it this way.  I believe Osi will outplay Mathias Kiwanuka and JPP.  Nevertheless, Kiwanuka has more at stake. He is in the final year of his contract. If he does not win a starting job and does not play well this season, the Giants may let him walk.  By the way, it will be interesting to see what type of contract JPP signs. Already at a young age, he has a back problem.  Will the Giants give him millions in guaranteed money?  Or will it be an incentive laden contract?   As for this whole hip flexor hyperbole story,  when Osi is accumulating sacks and playing stout run defense, no one will remember he had a hip injury.