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Shockey Continues To Miss Work With Sore Foot
According to the Associated Press, Jeremy Shockey may miss the final week of the New York Giants offseason program because of a foot problem.

Shockey missed his second straight day of mini-camp Thursday, and head coach Tom Coughlin said the two-time Pro Bowler would not return until the soreness that has been bothering him is gone.

"Let's not speculate until we find out exactly what it is," the coach added.

The Giants finish their offseason training next week.

Shockey has been bothered by foot and toe problems since his rookie season in 2002. He missed the final seven games of last season with a knee injury.

Doctors said Shockey's current problem was caused by aggravating a foot injury from last season, team officials said.

As New York Post staffer Lenn Robbins suggested Thursday, when he's healthy, Shockey might be as dangerous a tight end as there is in the game. But since the Giants made him their first-round pick in the 2002 draft, he has battled an assortment of injuries.

Problems with both ankles and turf toe plagued him as a rookie. Last year, he suffered the fracture in the second game and rarely practiced the rest of the season. After the season, he had surgery to remove loose particles from his left knee.

"I can relate to Jeremy because I had lingering injuries for two and a half years and when I finally got healthy, it felt so good," teammate Tiki Barber said. "I think Jeremy's going through that.

"He obviously has the talent," Barber added. "But taking care of his body, staying healthy, being able to play because the team needs you, is paramount. Jeremy needs to learn to take care of himself so he can be on the field consistently."

Robbins went on to remind readers, "Shockey's utter disregard for his body combined with his extravagant lifestyle have led to questions about the star tight end's ability to make it through a season injury-free. Right now the Giants have to be concerned with getting Shockey to the season healthy."

Whatever the case, teammates are aware of Shockey's importance to the club's chances for offensive success this season.

"I hate to throw it on him, but he's the key to our offense," Barber admitted.

"Whatever it is, we need him to be 100 percent by training camp," quarterback Kurt Warner said. "That's the goal because he's such a special player."

I'll continue to monitor Shockey's status and update as necessary. ...

Meanwhile, getting back to Warner. ...

The latest word out of team headquarters this week says the former two-time NFL MVP looked sharp during his initial mini-camp workouts this week. His passes were crisp and mostly on target.

But as New York Daily News staffer Ralph Vacchiano noted, the surprise was that Eli Manning's passes looked even better.

After struggling through his first mini-camp as a pro early last month, Manning put all that behind him Monday with a much-improved performance that caught the eyes of his coaches and teammates.

According to Vacchiano, "his command in the huddle was better and he had a much greater knowledge of the offense. And as a result, he was able to show off the right arm that the Giants worked so hard to acquire in their blockbuster draft-day trade."

Unfortunately, Manning was less consistent Wednesday.

According to Robbins, he threw an awful interception over the middle to Shaun Williams but came right back to make a nice throw to James McKnight on a post-corner route.

Manning fumbled an exchange from center but got some encouragement from lineman Barry Stokes, who patted the No.1 pick on the helmet. On the final play of the afternoon scrimmage, Manning fired a short touchdown pass to JaJuan Dawson.

Manning and Warner combined unofficially to throw six interceptions yesterday -- with Warner responsible for four of the misfires.

Bottom line? Look for the already incessant media drumbeat surrounding the Warner/Manning competition to approach frenzy levels this summer as Warner puts increasing pressure on his younger teammate once he becomes familiar enough with the Giants' for experience to factor into the equation.

Stay tuned. ... This one is far from over.