Ereck Flowers says hip flexor is 'a lot better'

CINCINNATI — On the eve of his professional debut, Giants rookie left tackle Ereck Flowers said the hip flexor injury that bothered him earlier in training camp is no longer bothering him.

"It's gotten a lot better than what it was," the first round pick said Thursday prior to the Giants' preseason opener against the Bengals here on Friday night. 

Flowers, who was selected with the ninth overall pick in the NFL Draft earlier this year, missed a handful of practices due to the injury last week. But Flowers was a full participant in both of the Giants' joint practices with the Bengals this week, and performed well in both sessions in preparation of his first professional game experience. 

"I'm excited, it's my first game," Flowers said. "I came in and got some good work (during the two joint practices). I'm looking forward to [Friday]. It's a big deal for me to play any game."

Guard Justin Pugh, who filled in at left tackle when Flowers was unavailable, said he liked what he saw out of Flowers during practice this week.

"I think he did very well," Pugh said. "Especially coming in coming off an injury. It's tough, because he really hasn't been in full pads yet. So to come back and play like he has been playing, I'm excited for him."

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