There isn't a definitive verdict on whether or not New York Giants star Saquon Barkley will return for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals.

The elite running back has missed three games with a high ankle sprain and describes himself as "day-to-day." But he also is adamant about this: His injured right ankle would hold up in a game.

"No doubt in my mind," Barkley told reporters on Thursday.

The second-year pro is moving closer to a return with the Giants' medical staff set to examine him later in the week.

And he badly wants to hear he will be playing on Sunday.

"Really bad," Barkley said. "That is every Sunday. Every Thursday. Any time we get a chance to play the game."

Barkley rushed for 237 yards with a stellar 6.4 average in two-plus games before injuring the ankle against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 22.

The Giants won their first game without Barkley but lost the last two by an average of 19.5 points. Watching setbacks doesn't sit too well with the 22-year-old Barkley.

"I guess you can say Angry Saquon, but it's going to be more just appreciation because when you actually get the game taken away from you -- don't get me wrong, I know it's not a season-ending injury, it was an injury that took me out for a couple weeks -- but when you're passionate about this game and when you have to step away from it and watch your teammates go out there and you have to be in a box looking down and can't really do much for your team, makes you understand how much you actually care and appreciate this game," Barkley said.

"So it's going to be more a person who appreciates the game and just try to go out there and do whatever it takes to win for his teammates."

Undrafted rookie Jon Hilliman served as the main back in New York's 35-14 loss to the New England Patriots on Oct. 10. Hilliman gained 38 yards on 11 carries.

Normal second-stringer Wayne Gallman (concussion) is expected to return after missing the New England game.

Receiver Sterling Shepard (concussion) likely will miss his second straight game and third of the season, while tight end Evan Engram (knee) is expected back after a one-game absence.

--Field Level Media

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