Verify W5200 is on line and functioning

I am using a W5200 as a web server and occasionally it becomes unresponsive or falls off the internet and needs to be reset (seems to happen once every day or two). The W5200 is controlled by a Parallax QuickStart Propeller board. I am looking for an easy method for the microcontroller to test if the W5200 is still able to serve up content. I initially tested its connectivity by periodically sending out an SNTP request and waiting for a response. This mostly worked but occasionally the request goes unanswered even though the W5200 is online (the SNTP server is busy or off line). So now I’m thinking a simple ICMP echo request (i.e. “ping”) would be faster and more reliable test for internet connectivity since most IP addresses will respond to an echo reply requests. However, I am clueless as to how to create this type of ICMP request. Does anyone know how this is done? Or is there an easier way to determine if the W5200 is online and functioning?

Thank you.