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7K see Giants practice at New Meadowlands Stadium

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants tested the turf at their new stadium Tuesday and had mixed results on the first day of their three-day mandatory minicamp.

The Giants' afternoon workout inside the New Meadowlands Stadium on Tuesday drew an estimated 7,000 onlookers.

The new FieldTurf field at the $1.6 billion arena claimed wide receiver Domenik Hixon, whose right foot got caught in the soft surface on a punt return. Hixon had his knee checked by trainers and walked off under his own power. The team says it's not known if Hixon will be available for the rest of the minicamp.

"I'm not sure yet," coach Tom Coughlin said of Hixon<s status. "We'll see. This turf kind of snagged his foot. He didn't get it enough out of the turf. We'll hope it's not something serious. He'll probably be sore tomorrow. Domenik<s a tough guy now. He's fought his way through a few things in the past."

Defensive end Justin Tuck also thought the field was soft, given its newness. But Tuck also observed that the winds, just like those at the partially demolished Giants Stadium nearby, could help or hurt the home team.

"You could tell if you look up at the goalposts," Tuck said. "One set of flags would be going in one direction and the other in the other direction. The wind is going to play a factor, but we like that. We'll be used to it by the time we play here come the late fall."

Overall, the Giants considered the afternoon practice a success, despite the low fan turnout, which earlier in the day was expected to be about 30,000.

Coughlin addressed the fans after the workout, thanking them for attending. He also emphasized the fans' importance as the 12th man.

Quarterback Eli Manning said getting a workout in the new stadium should help the team when they open the preseason against their co-inhabitants, the Jets, on Aug. 16.

"It was good to come out here and get a feel for the wind," Manning said. "It gets us ready for the preseason games, regular-season games. We'll be prepared."

Coughlin agreed.

"To come in here and have a chance to work on the turf and check the wind out, it's a different venue from Giants Stadium," he said. "This was a good experience to come in here.

"I'm glad we did this on a beautiful spring day. It's just a really good end to our first day of our minicamp."