O'Hara Returns At Center

C Shaun O'Hara's return after having his foot in a cast brings stability to the offensive line. But for how long?

At least for today, the old gang was back on the offensive front.

Shaun O'Hara was back in, working with the first team at center, five days after doctors removed the hard cast that immobilized what he called Achilles tendinosis in his left foot. The inflammatory condition, caused in part by overtraining, cost him the last two preseason games. Whether he'll miss regular-season games remains to be seen., But for now, he was out there working.

So, too, crouched Rich Seubert at his old left guard spot. And David Diehl was next to him at left tackle, fresh off his positional battle with Will Beatty. Even Kareem McKenzie, who missed the Jets game because of migraines, was at his right tackle spot, next to guard Chris Snee.

It is a line that has provided Eli Manning with much stability over the past five seasons. But given O'Hara's chronic state, and the fact that challengers such as Beatty and newly-acquired guard Shawn Andrews still present threats, it's anyone's guess how long that alignment will last.

Especially in O'Hara's situation. He worked the full, light workout today. He can only hope things don't swell overnight so he can make it for the first full-scale workout of the regular season Wednesday.

"Today felt good on many levels," O'Hara said. "It was awesome being out on the field with the boys. I thought it went well today. It wasn't a ginomous practice, but it was kind of good to get out there, run around, and sweat a little bit."

Of course, the objective is to stay out there. And that's the big question with O'Hara. If he can't make gameday, the Giants will be left with a choice of either Seubert or Adam Koets at center, though neither presents an ideal situation. Seubert has played little at center and had at least one shaky moment there when Baltimore's penetration straightened him up and pushed him back on fourth-and-1. Koets spent the first 14 games of 2009 on the inactive list and has yet to see any real gametime outside of special teams.

O'Hara admitted keeping him game ready may require a bit of strategic scheduling, however.

"Going into my 11th year now, I've never really gone through anything like this," O'Hara said. "It was tough going into every day, not knowing how it was going to respond.

"We're just going to have to monitor it," O'Hara said. "It's going to be one of those things where, if it does act up, what are we going to do during the week to try to take care of it? I don't think it's going to be something that's going to be miraculously gone. I'm sure we'll really see how it responds after a game."

Missing the occasional practice now, much like RB Ahmad Bradshaw did as he battled foot and ankle injuries last year, will not be out of the question.

It could even happen this week.

"He worked today," coach Tom Coughlin said. "We'll see what he's like tomorrow."

O'Hara appears ready for any eventuality.

"If I have to rest it a little bit on a Wednesday, I'll feel comfortable doing that. But in my mind, I want to take every rep. I don't want to miss out on anything during the week."

He said it just felt good to be out there again.

"It felt like old times," he said, adding that he had badgered Snee and Seubert to hurry back from their own, respective, knee and hand injuries that caused instability during camp. "As soon as they come back, I go out, so we've definitely been busting each other's chops about it. But we'll all be excited when we line up for real and the band's back together."

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