EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.- New York Giants all-time leading receiver Amani Toomer will miss the rest of the season because of an injured left knee.

An MRI exam Monday night showed Toomer had a partial tear of his anterior cruciate ligament. He has elected to have season-ending surgery, but did not specify when that would take place.

“I didn’t think anything of it,” Toomer said of the injury. “It was very disappointing when I got the MRI.”

Toomer had a similar injury to his right knee as a rookie 10 years ago.

The injury is the latest for the Giants in recent weeks. Linebacker LaVar Arrington was lost for the season with an Achilles’ tendon injury against Dallas on Oct. 23, and Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Strahan said he’s going to be sidelined for two to eight weeks with a sprained right foot.

New York has played without All-Pro defensive end Osi Umenyiora (hip), cornerback Sam Madison (hamstring) and linebacker Brandon Short (quad) in recent weeks. All are starters.

The Giants (6-2) host the Chicago Bears (7-1) in a showdown for the NFC lead Sunday night.

Toomer was given the option rehabbing the knee, but was worried about the potential for further injury.

“It’s unstable at this point,” Toomer said. “I just want to fix it. I don’t want to get into the specifics of what happened, but I feel like the best thing to do is to get it fixed. Going out there and not being able to perform to the best of my ability is worse than getting it fixed now and taking the time” for it to heal.

Toomer and Tiki Barber are tied for the team lead with 32 catches. Toomer had only two catches last weekend. His best outing this year came against Philadelphia on Sept. 17, when he had a career-high 12 receptions for 137 yards and two touchdowns.

“Here is a young man who had dedicated himself to having a good year, and he was playing well,” said Giants coach Tom Coughlin. “He has done anything we have asked of him. His numbers and big plays speak for themselves, but time and time again, he does the things that maybe people on the outside don’t notice as much. But they are the kinds of things that make a difference in the ballgame.”

Toomer’s 561 career receptions are one more than Barber’s. His 22 100-yard games are a franchise record, and his 47 touchdown catches tie him with Joe Morrison for second, one behind franchise record-holder Kyle Rote.

“Hopefully next year I’ll be able to start up right where I left off,” Toomer said. “That’s where my focus is, getting my knee as healthy as possible so I can keep on playing and performing to the best of my ability.”

The Giants got some good news Wednesday. Madison, who missed the last two games, and receiver Sinorice Moss, the second-round draft pick who has played only one game because of a quad injury, returned to practice.

Plaxico Burress, who sat out last week’s game with back spasms, had his back tighten up again before practice Wednesday and he did not work out. He is questionable for Sunday’s game.

Also questionable are LB Carlos Emmons (groin), Short, DE Justin Tuck (foot) and Moss.

Umenyiora is doubtful for Sunday’s game with his hip problem.

AP-ES-11-08-06 1618EST



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