Starting cornerback Prince Amukamara suffered a high ankle sprain in the first quarter of Friday night’s 20-17 preseason loss to the Chicago Bears, the Giants announced.

That injury typically takes over a month to heal, but the team hasn't given any time frame for his return.

Coach Tom Coughlin talked with team physician Dr. Russell Warren, who described the injury as “mild."

"I don't like that term 'high-ankle sprain,'" Coughlin said. "If it’s a mild sprain, perhaps it’s not going to ... take as much time to get him back.”

It appeared as though Amukamara injured himself while making a tackle on Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall in the first quarter. However, Coughlin said Amukamara actually hurt his ankle on the previous play -- a reverse to Marshall -- but was tough enough to stay on the field and make a difficult tackle on the 6-4, 230-pound receiver.

“I got to give him credit,” Coughlin said. “Even when he was injured, he made that tackle right there on the sideline. I don’t think anyone knew what the injury was, and we couldn’t get him off the field fast enough. He didn’t go down, so he played one more play. They went right at him and he made the play.”

Amukamara was carted off the field after making the tackle on Marshall and brought to the X-ray room, but the tests came back negative.

Coincidentally, cornerback Terrell Thomas tore his ACL in a preseason game against the Bears last season. Amukamara was battling Thomas for a starting spot this year until the veteran aggravated his ACL injury at training camp.

Amuakamara also went down in the preseason last year (he broke his foot during training camp), but the Giants still had veteran Aaron Ross to step up in his absence. Now that Ross is with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the opportunity falls to veterans Michael Coe, Bruce Johnson and Justin Tryon -- all of whom suffered season-ending injuries in 2011.

Veteran cornerbacks Dante Hughes and Antwaun Molden are also contending for roster spots. Since safety Tyler Sash is suspended for the first four games of the season, the Giants could carry an extra cornerback such as Tryon or Johnson.

And, if Thomas’ knee or Amukamara’s ankle improve, that player could be released when Sash returns. As for now, it’s unclear who will start opposite Corey Webster. Coe, who has battled hamstring issues recently, is the logical choice.

“He’s had some injuries, but he is a tough kid and I think he’ll come back from this as fast as possible,” Coughlin said of Amukamara. “How fast that is, I’m not sure.”

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