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Hakeem Nicks returns to New York Giants practice

Hakeem Nicks was a surprise absentee from New York Giants practice Thursday, but he was back on the field Friday and should be ready for Sunday's meeting with the New Orleans Saints.

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The wide receiver was held out Thursday because of knee soreness, The Star-Ledger reported, and Nicks continues to deal with pain from the sprained left medial collateral ligament that he suffered during a Week 2 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said Nicks was sidelined for precautionary reasons after playing in the last seven games. Nick finally has found some rhythm with quarterback Eli Manning, hauling in 19 of his 46 receptions over the past three games.

When Nicks is on the field, it frees up Victor Cruz to do more, but we haven't seen the Giants shift into a comfort zone in the passing game. It was roughly this time last season when Manning went into a trance-like state, turning Cruz into a household name. We're still waiting for that.

Running back Ahmad Bradshaw followed his customary route of practicing Friday after nursing his foot Thursday. He'll play against the Saints.

That might not be the case with safeties Kenny Phillips (knee) and Tyler Sash (hamstring), and tight end Travis Beckum (knee), who weren't on the field Friday.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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