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Umenyiora will travel with Giants, optimistic to make debut

New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora will travel with the team to Arizona for Sunday's game against the Cardinals and is optimistic about making his season debut, a league source told NFL Network's Jason La Canfora.

The two-time Pro Bowler said he felt good after practicing on Friday for the third straight day and plans to play if his right knee feels the same way.

Umenyiora had arthroscopic surgery on the knee in mid-August, causing him to miss the Giants' first three games. While swelling in the knee slowed his return, there has been none this week.

"It's exciting," Umenyiora said after practice. "This is what I like to do, love to do. I will get a chance to do that, whether it's this week or whenever it is, I am excited about that."

Umenyiora had a turbulent offseason in which he criticized general manager Jerry Reese for failing to rework his contract, which will pay him $3.1 million this season. Umenyiora felt Reese had promised to do that after the nine-year veteran shared the team lead with 11.5 sacks and tied an NFL record by recording 10 forced fumbles last season.

Umenyiora accused Reese of not keeping his word in a deposition filed as part of a player antitrust suit against the league, and he showed his displeasure by reporting for training camp a day late. The problem escalated after he reported and the team even gave his agents permission to try to work out a trade, before quickly reconsidering.

"I always have a chip on my shoulder, I feel like I am constantly disrespected," Umenyiora said Friday. "I always feel like I need to prove myself. This season is no different than last season or the season before. It's probably going to be the same way next season, something is going to happen, I'll be disrespected again and I'll have to go out there and have to prove myself all over again. But that's the way it is."

Fellow Pro Bowl defensive end Justin Tuck, who is nursing neck and shoulder injuries, practiced for the first time this week on Friday and his status has been listed as questionable, the same status coach Tom Coughlin assigned to Umenyiora.

Notes: Long snapper Zac DeOssie missed his second straight practice with a sore back. Coughlin expects him to play. Rookie linebacker Mark Herzlich and tight end Travis Beckum are the backups. ... WR Brandon Stokley is out because of a quad injury suffered in practice this week. ... WRs Hakeem Nicks (knee) and Mario Manningham (concussion suffered almost two weeks ago) are probable.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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