Kiwanuka indeed cleared to play, Giants GM Reese says

New York Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, who missed all but three games in 2010 because of a herniated disc in his neck, has been cleared to play, general manager Jerry Reese said in a statement Saturday, via *The Star-Ledger*.

The statement came as a bit of a surprise after Reese had said Kiwanuka, who is set to become a free agent, was not "out of the woods yet" during a news conference earlier Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

"After I spoke to the media this morning at the combine, I had a conversation with 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 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."

Kiwanuka, 27, will not need surgery, coach Tom Coughlin said this week. Kiwanuka had four sacks last season before being placed on injured reserve.

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