Osi Umenyiora will consult with a specialist about his knee, according to his agent Tony Agnone.
The defensive end will fly to Atlanta for the appointment, which was set up by the Giants, and be seen as soon as Thursday. The specialist and the team's medical staff will then figure out what the next step will be for Umenyiora, who has been sitting out practices with a sore knee while also at odds with management over his contract.
"I'm hoping this will get him on the field," Agnone said.
Umenyiora has a meniscus issue, according to a source. The injury is believed to be manageable but a source said that if it did require surgery, it would likely keep Umenyiora out for just over a month or so.
Umenyiora has not threatened surgery and one source said it's doubtful he will need surgery. Still, he will see the specialist in an effort to determine the next step in this saga with hopes of returning to the field.
Barring a setback or something unforeseen, Umenyiora could be practicing with the Giants on Monday or early next week according to another source.
The defensive end has been in a contract standoff with the Giants. Umenyiora wants a new deal or to be traded. He has a total of $7.1 million remaining in base salary on the final two years of his deal.
"I hope we get some closure on that chapter and start on the new one," Coughlin said on Wednesday. "Let's get this stuff resolved."
Coughlin believes if Umenyiora returns to the field the defensive end will be able to practice without any lingering feelings over his contract.
The Giants had dialogue with Umenyiora's camp last week about adding sacks incentives to his contract. However, Umenyiora countered by asking that the final year of his contract be taken off so that he can play this season and then become a free agent.
The Giants were not open to that idea.
Still, Umenyiora's friend and teammateJustin Tuck thinks progress is being made.
"Looks like it's progress to me," Tuck said. "It's movement. About this situation, no one knows when it's going to end or knows where it's heading. So I don't worry about it. It is going to take care of itself."
"He definitely wants to get on the football field but I don't think he's in any rush," Tuck added. "He is kind of taking it day by day."
Umenyiora had offseason surgery on his hip but said in June that he was recovered. He also has had surgery on his knee after missing the entire 2008 season due to a knee injury. Sources say that Umenyiora's current knee issue is not related to the surgery he had in 2008.
Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com.