Ahmad Bradshaw back at practice

New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw returned to practice Friday after missing the previous two days of practice with a sprained left ankle and is questionable for Sunday's game against the Houston Texans. He expects to play, though.

"I felt great," Bradshaw said. "No setback at all. I'm ready to go."

The news wasn't as good on safety Kenny Phillips, however, who is questionable for Sunday's game and sat out Friday's practice with a sprained MCL in his left knee, the same knee in which he had microfracture surgery in the offseason.

Coughlin and Phillips both indicated that the new knee injury is not related to his previous problems, and Phillips insisted that his knee feels great and there have been no setbacks or swelling.

"I think we're being conservative right now. I hope to play, looking forward to playing," Phillips said. "I've been watching film and doing everything to prepare to play, so I'm looking forward to it."

Bradshaw stretched with the team and went through reps with the first-team offense during the portion of practice available to the media. He had been expected to return to practice Thursday, but finally made his return Friday.

"He did well," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "He did OK -- he got up on his toes, ran around."

Bradshaw, who is second in the NFC and leads the Giants with 382 rushing yards, said the sprain happened on a screen pass during Sunday's 17-3 victory against the Chicago Bears.

Bradshaw said the ankle went numb during the game for a couple of minutes, and it stayed sore during the week, so he and the Giants have taken a cautious approach. The training staff has been helping him strengthen the ankle the past two days, which is what Bradshaw said is pretty much all it takes to recover.

Last season, hobbled by ankle and foot injuries, Bradshaw often did not practice during the week but played in games. He had offseason surgery on both feet and had bone spurs removed in his right ankle.

"It's just something that occurs, freak accidents. As many as I've had it really doesn't faze me anymore,"
Bradshaw said of ankle sprains. "Don't even swell up or anything -- it's been swollen so many times it don't really affect the ankle. It's just a matter of strengthening it back to where it was."

Phillips' turn for the worse, however, is more of a concern given his problems with his left knee in his short career.

Phillips, who missed the final 15 games of the 2009 season after undergoing surgery on the same left knee to relieve patellofemoral arthritis, first appeared on the injury report Wednesday after not participating in practice. Coughlin said the team has started to use him less on Wednesday so as to alleviate and maintain the sore knee. Thursday, Philips was limited in practice, but participated.

Friday morning, Philips stretched and warmed up with the team, but did not practice. He stood off to the side with his helmet on and threw a football around to some of his teammates during the portion of the practice available to the media.

Coughlin said this injury is not a "surgical issue", while Phillips said the injury is "nothing with my knee that I had surgery on." Phillips is confident that he can get past the injury and not have it be a problem throughout the year.

"It happened last week during the game and I was able to finish the game and play well," Phillips said. "Pretty much, I can do the same thing."

In other injury news, Linebacker Keith Bulluck (toe), defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka (neck), fullback Madison Hedgecock (hamstring), offensive lineman Shaun O'Hara (ankle/Achilles) and tackle Will Beatty (toe) did not practice for the third straight day, and will all miss Sunday's contest.

Cornerback Terrell Thomas, who missed Thursday's practice with a hamstring issue, was out practicing with the first-string defense and is questionable.

Center Adam Koets (knee) and defensive end Osi Umenyiora (knee), who were both limited Thursday after sitting out Wednesday, participated in practice. They are listed as probable for Sunday.

Matt Ehalt is a contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.