Injured Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas created a little buzz on his blog last week when he said his goal was still to play in the opener. On Sunday, coach Tom Coughlin suggested that Thomas’ surgically repaired right ACL wouldn’t allow him to do that, so Thomas clarified his statement Monday.

“My goal is to play tomorrow if I could,” Thomas said, adding that Dr. Ronnie Barnes will most likely keep him “under wraps” so as to save him “for the long haul.”

Thomas aggravated his right knee during training camp, but has not been given a timetable for his return. He will meet with Dr. Russell Warren on Wednesday, and depending on how that exam goes, he could be running on solid ground by the end of the week.

“I’ve been running on the under-water treadmill, got on the elliptical today, squatting, lunging, doing everything like I was 100 percent,” Thomas said. “Obviously we’re still taking it slow.”

Thomas insists he doesn’t have to prove anything to the Giants even though youngsters like Prince Amukamara (ankle) and Jayron Hosley (toe) will be trying to take the starting job once they’ve recovered from their respective injuries.

“Those guys are gunning for my spot and I understand that,” Thomas said. “I was that guy before and I respect that and understand that’s a part of the business.”

There’s no timetable on Amukamara’s high ankle sprain, but Hosley did do some running outside on Monday and said he expects to play in the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 5.

Of course, final roster cuts have to be made before Friday at 9 p.m., so if Thomas’ knee wasn’t improving, the Giants would have to consider putting him on IR to give themselves a roster spot.

However, Thomas doesn’t think that’s the case. If that were a consideration, Thomas believes, the Giants would have made him get knee surgery and immediately placed him on IR.

“They would have opted for the surgery because it was like a coin flip,” he said. “I didn’t need it, but it would have helped regardless.”

Cornerback Michael Coe is the most-likely candidate to start opposite Corey Webster in Week 1, although he too is coming off a hamstring injury. It’s unclear how much he’ll play in the final preseason game.

The Giants terminated the contract of Antwuan Molden on Monday, which leaves Bruce Johnson, Justin Tryon and Dante Hughes as the only healthy bodies at the position. Safety Will Hill has also seen time at nickelback.

With safety Tyler Sash set to miss the first four games because of a suspension, the Giants could hang on to an extra cornerback until Sash returns. Then the team could reevaluate Thomas and Amukamara’s progress and make a long-term decision from that point.

Follow the Giants and Alex Raskin @CBSSportsNFLNYG and @AlexRaskinNYC.