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Foster returns to practice, takes normal workload

Posted Sep 14, 2011

Texans running back Arian Foster returned to practice on Wednesday after missing close to three weeks with a hamstring injury.

Running back Arian Foster returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since aggravating a left hamstring injury on Aug. 27.

Foster expects to play on Sunday at Miami after sitting out of the Texans’ Week 1 victory over Indianapolis.

“That’s the plan,” Foster said on Wednesday afternoon. “But you never know with hamstring injuries. They’re tricky, man. Sometimes, they’ll sneak up on you.

“It felt good (at practice). I was pretty fluid, but you’ve got to ease along hamstring injuries, like I’ve been saying. So (I’m) just going to take it day by day and see how it feels.”

Foster was listed as limited on the Texans’ injury report, but coach Gary Kubiak said that he took “a normal Wednesday load for a starter.” The key, Kubiak said, will be how Foster feels on Thursday.

“Everything was positive today at practice, so we’ll see,” Kubiak said. “I think it’s about him getting his confidence back and just cutting it loose. I just told him to be smart today, but he’s on top of his stuff. Had he not been out for a few weeks, I wouldn’t have known. Hopefully you wake up tomorrow and he felt good coming out of it and we move on to the next day.”

On Monday, Kubiak said that whether Foster returns to the lineup will depend on how he does in practice. If Foster continues to practice like he did on Wednesday, Kubiak won't feel the need to be overly cautious about using his All-Pro running back in Week 2.

“If he can play, you play (him),” Kubiak said. “There won’t be being careful with him. You may say, ‘This is how many times he’s going to touch it,' but you can’t do something half-speed out there. We’d have to see, but if he’s ready to go, he puts us at our best and he’ll be out there.”

Second-year running back Ben Tate had 24 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown in Foster's absence against the Colts.

"No matter who's healthy, who's not, I approach it the same every week," Tate said. "(That) was a good game for me. It was last week, I'm past that now and I'm trying to get ready for the Dolphins."

Running back Derrick Ward started in Week 1 and had 11 carries for 39 yards and a touchdown before leaving with a sprained ankle. The eighth-year veteran did not practice on Wednesday and is day-to-day.

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