Slaton says he's "just waiting 'til June to get cleared"

On Saturday, Texans running back and former West Virginia University star Steve Slaton signed autographs for nearly 200 fans at a SportMart store in Charleston, West Va.

Slaton also talked football with the Charleston Gazette, including about his recovery from offseason cervical fusion surgery to repair a nerve issue that landed Slaton on injured reserve in December.

"It's doing well,'' Slaton said to the Gazette. "I participated in [the first week of] OTAs and I'm just waiting 'til June to get cleared. I think it's going to go well. Everything is right on track for me to be ready for camp.''

The Texans' training camp begins on July 30. Slaton has been a full participant in OTAs, practices in which contact is not permitted and players do not wear pads. Slaton has been wearing a red "non-contact" jersey for extra emphasis and precaution.

Slaton, who missed only two games in his West Virginia career and ran for 1,282 yards as an NFL rookie, told the *Gazette *that it was difficult for him to have to watch the last five games of the 2009 season. He also said that he's not worried about the competition in a crowded Texans backfield this offseason.

"I feel I fit in the same as my rookie year and last year,'' said Slaton, who weighed in for OTAs at 199 pounds after bulking up to around 215 last offseason. "I want to be the starter and that's what I'm working on. It's somewhere I feel comfortable. Being a vet, I still have a clear idea of what the offense is trying to do and what I can help with.''

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