He didn't practice on Thursday, but Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson took a significant step forward in rehab from his Oct. 4 hamstring surgery.
Coach Gary Kubiak said that Johnson "had his best day" of work with head athletic trainer Geoff Kaplan. Johnson will run on Friday before a decision is made about his availability for Sunday's game at Tampa Bay.
"I'm almost close to full speed," Johnson said on Thursday. "Everything's been going very positive, so I'm pretty excited about that… We'll come out and run again tomorrow, see how it feels, just make sure that I'm comfortable and we'll go from there."
Whether or not Johnson plays against the Bucs, he has cleared the last major hurdle in his rehab. The two-time All-Pro said that he no longer feels tugging in his leg when he runs.
"That was the main thing that was holding me back," Johnson said. "I haven't been feeling it the past couple days that I've been running. I guess the main thing now is just me getting confidence back in my leg. Sometimes when I'm running, I'm so used to feeling it that sometimes I'm waiting on it to happen."
If Johnson practices on Friday, he could be a game-time decision on Sunday. Otherwise, the Texans might rule him out before the weekend, as they have for the past several weeks.
"Andre's very, very close, so it will probably be a decision we make tomorrow, whether he comes out here and practices with us or goes again with Kap, and then make a decision for the weekend," Kubiak said. "But he is doing extremely well.
"He was impressive today. I watched him; he was very good, full speed."