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Gary Kubiak hopeful Arian Foster returns by midweek

Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak admittedly was surprised that Arian Foster's strain calf didn't receive medical clearance for the opening of training camp. The Houston Chronicle went on to suggest days later that there was no timetable for Foster to return to the field.

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From that vantage point, it's excellent news that Kubiak now is optimistic about Foster's return to practice this week.

"I'm hoping midweek something like that," Kubiak told ESPN.com's Josina Anderson, "that he is back on the field."

Foster previously had indicated he'd take his time, not returning until he feels "100 percent confident" in his calf.

General manager Rick Smith confirmed that cautious approach on Monday.

"We want to make sure that he is totally 100 percent ready. So he's very close," Smith said via ESPN.com. "We are just making sure that he is ready to go when we let him loose. We are being cautious and taking that slowly, but I have no worries that that is going to be something that he is going to have to deal with."

Smith insists Foster is "committed to having an excellent season," and the Texans have no grave concerns about his heavy workload the past few seasons.

Soft tissue injuries such as calf strains are notorious for their susceptibility to aggravation. Fantasy leaguers should be encouraged that Foster is not rushing back before the injury is fully healed.

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