Pierre-Paul's return could be determined by independent doctor

With no more surgically procedures needed on his hand, New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul's sole focus is to heal and to ramp up his conditioning so he can get on the field as soon as possible.

Still, he might have to wait until an independent doctor makes a decision on his hand.

According to two sources involved in the situation, a doctor with no ties to either the Giants or Pierre-Paul could ultimately make the call on whether the defensive end is healthy enough to play.

The Giants, however, obviously don't think he's set to return. They do want him badly on the field, but they want to make sure he's ready. If no consensus can be reached between the Giants' doctors and JPP's personal doctors, an independent doctor would likely need to make the final call on whether JPP can play, sources said.

Pierre-Paul lost his index finger in a fireworks accident on the Fourth of July. A piece of his thumb is also missing, but it's above the knuckle, so he should regain full use of his thumb.

After a skin graft and a procedure to clean out his middle finger last week, Pierre-Paul is working toward getting ready for his check-in with the Giants next month.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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