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Matt Forte practices for Chicago Bears, hopes to play

Matt Forte is back in the fold.

Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune reported the Chicago Bears running back practiced Wednesday and hopes to play Monday night against the Dallas Cowboys.

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Forte told McClure he was optimistic about a quick return because he didn't experience any swelling in the ankle he injured during a Week 2 game against the Green Bay Packers.

"I can sprint," Forte told The Associated Press. "So I think I'll be good to go."

Forte's coach isn't so sure about the Dallas game. Lovie Smith said his versatile running back has a long way to go. If Forte does play, it would be a remarkable return, considering the way his ankle twisted under the weight of Packers safety Charles Woodson.

"When the swelling is big, it takes a long time to get it out," Forte told The AP, "but I didn't really swell up, so I knew I'd be back pretty soon."

Forte avoided the dreaded high ankle sprain, but if he can't suit up against the Cowboys, Michael Bush should be ready to go. Forte's backfield mate also practiced Wednesday after leaving Sunday's win over the St. Louis Rams with a shoulder injury.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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