Shaun O'Hara makes it through practice

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Giants center Shaun O'Hara said he has missed practicing with his teammates. After several false starts in recent weeks, O'Hara made it through practice Thursday, albiet a light one, after missing three games with pain in his left ankle.

"Once we were able to get some of the inflammation out of the swelling," O'Hara said. "Because the swelling was really what was causing a lot of the discomfort. Once we were able to get rid of that, I think that helped a lot."

O'Hara said a cortisone shot in his bursa last week made him feel as though he'd turned a corner, but he said conventional treatments like ice and rest helped a great deal as well.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said O'Hara could be ready to go on Sunday.

"I think he just has to keep feeling better after having worked," Coughlin said. "He really hasn't pushed on anybody yet. That will be an interesting one. But he just has to improve that way, and the medical people have to give him some kind of clearance.

O'Hara said his head is completely in the game, and if he can be physically fit, he will be more than ready to go.

"Mentally I'm preparing to play every week," O'Hara said.

In other injury news, Mathias Kiwanuka said there has been no change in his playing status as he treats a bulging disc in his neck.

Linebacker Keith Bulluck said he would definitely play this Sunday against the Lions despite turf toe.

"Fortunately mine is not serious. I was able to go out there and practice and work through it," Bulluck said.

"We are going to list [Bulluck] as limited," Coughlin said.

Coughlin said defensive end Osi Umenyiora's status remains the same due to a knee injury. He might be limited here and there in practice but would likely be ready on Sundays.

As for the rest of the injured players on the team: wide receiver Victor Cruz (hamstring), fullback Madison Hedgecock (hamstring), and defensive back Brian Jackson (neck) rode stationary bicycles as the rest of the team stretched. Safety Kenny Phillips (knee) and running back D.J. Ware (groin) were out on the field for some of the time.

With the Lions and their 23-game road losing streak visiting this Sunday, the Giants have an opportunity to improve to 4-2. It's something players like O'Hara and Bulluck would prefer to be a part of after a rough start to the season.

"It's just different for me being here, because we were 1-2 and it seemed like the season was over," Bulluck said. "And then we get a win and we're even, and then we get another win and we were 3-2 -- so I just see how everything works and it sways.

"At the point we were 1-2 there was really no need to panic. We knew we just had to iron things out, get back to basics, and I think that's what we've done as a team."

Jane McManus is a reporter and columnist for ESPNNewYork.com.