Texans inside linebacker Brian Cushing returned to the team on Thursday after a two-night stay in a local hospital.
Cushing, who was hospitalized with a virus on Tuesday evening, could play in the Texans' preseason opener at Carolina on Saturday.
"I think there's a good chance," Texans coach Gary Kubiak said on Thursday afternoon. "Obviously, I'm going to (have to) know that he's himself. I'd like to see him go out there and get his reps with the group. I think tomorrow's a big day. We know he's doing well right now… All indications are that he will (play).
"He's feeling a lot better."
Cushing, the Texans' 2011 team MVP, stayed in the locker room during practice on Thursday afternoon. Kubiak said he would be part of team meetings on Thursday evening and be evaluated on Friday morning, before the Texans travel to Charlotte.
If Cushing does play against the Panthers, it won't be for more than a quarter. Most of the Texans' starters will get 12-15 reps before giving way to backups.