While there’s still conjecture over just how much time Giants DE Michael Strahan will miss due to a sprained right foot, the New York Times’ John Branch is surprised Big Blue are revealing as much as they are.

The Giants issued a news release yesterday saying that Strahan, a seven-time Pro Bowl player, sprained a ligament in the middle of his right foot during Sunday™s 14-10 victory over the Houston Texans. The injury will not require surgery, the team said, but Strahan will be on crutches for at least a week.

œA reasonable time frame for Michael™s possible return would be anywhere from two to four weeks, Ronnie Barnes, the team™s vice president for medical services, said in the statement.

A detailed diagnosis, a timeline for a player™s return and a quotation from the team™s top trainer form a rare trifecta in the guarded and paranoid world of the N.F.L.

The Giants (6-2) generally protect the health status of players as state secrets, as do most other teams, divulging only enough information to adhere to league policies about disclosure.

The Giants, for example, have offered no public diagnosis for the foot injury that has kept defensive end Justin Tuck out of the past two games. A œsore foot is as clinical as Coach Tom Coughlin™s description has been.

Coughlin made no pronouncements or predictions when asked yesterday about the availability of Tuck, defensive end Osi Umenyiora (hip), linebacker Brandon Short (quadriceps), cornerback Sam Madison (hamstring) or receiver Plaxico Burress (back), who all missed Sunday™s game.

The Giants prefer to keep their injury situations fuzzy. So do a growing number of teams.

The New England Patriots, under their notoriously secretive coach, Bill Belichick, listed 18 players on their injury report Wednesday leading to their game Sunday night against the Indianapolis Colts. All but one was questionable.

The Colts, fighting mystery with mystery, had 18 players on their list, more than a third of the active roster. They also listed all but one as questionable.

The Giants are far more judicious when applying tags to players. Still, they tend to use the questionable status as a catchall category, even for players who do not practice all week.