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Alexander nicked up again, but still on track to start at Arizona

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Seattle running back Shaun Alexander has been practicing this week with a protective device covering his left thumb and wrist and expects to start for the Seahawks at Arizona on Sunday.

Alexander, slowed by injuries since winning the league MVP Award and setting an NFL record for touchdowns during the 2005 season, was vague about his latest health issue and downplayed it by laughing and calling it a "boo-boo" Thursday.

When asked if he had a hand or wrist injury, Alexander laughed as he often does.

"Dude, it's everything," he said, cackling after practicing for the second consecutive day with the hard, black device that appeared to be a cast. "No, it's just football. We're just making sure that we're OK."

When asked if the device was a cast or just a wrist guard, Alexander said: "It's just a thing we made up. A boo-boo, with a boo-boo protector. Sounds great."

The injury apparently occurred in last Sunday's season-opening 20-6 win over Tampa Bay in which he rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown. That left Alexander three scores short of becoming the eighth running back to have 100 in a career.

When asked if he was hit on the hand or wrist by an opponent, Alexander laughed again and said, "Good question. It's the weirdest thing. It is what it is."

Instead of answering if it was sprain or a break, Alexander just said, "Yeah."

"I would call it a boo-boo. That's (the word) I use with my daughters -- boo-boos are good."

Alexander severely bruised his foot in the 2006 season opener. After playing on it for two more games, the foot became cracked, causing him to miss six games and rush for just 896 yards in the regular season. It was the first season under 1,000 yards since he became Seattle's feature back in 2001.

The Seahawks say his foot may still have a small crack, but Alexander was unlimited in practices throughout minicamps and training camp.

Alexander has a good reason to play through the injury this week. In 10 games against the Cardinals, he has 962 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns. Both are his most against any team.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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