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Arian Foster: Time away from Houston Texans helped

Arian Foster returned to the practice field last week after spending three months recovering from a strained calf and sore back, and the Houston Texans running back said the time off will make him better this season.

"My body feels great," Foster told's Peter King. "I actually think all this time (off) might help."

Foster received injections to relieve the pain in his back. He told that he now is pain-free, and his doctors believe the issue is in the past.

The three-time All-Pro has carried the ball 956 times over the past three seasons -- far and away the most in the NFL. Missing the grind of the offseason program, Foster said, will be good for him, even comparing it to the layoff during the 2011 NFL lockout.

"You ask any player: 'How'd you enjoy the lockout season?' Great time," Foster said. "You had a chance to train without (having to) practice every day. When you got back to training camp, everyone felt fresh. That's exactly how I feel right now."

Players and coaches could argue ad nauseum if time away makes players fresh or rusty.

The Texans were "pleased" with Foster's condition over the weekend, so we expect they'd agree with their star in this case.

Given Ben Tate's progress in Foster's preseason absence, there is little doubt a fresh Foster once again will give the Texans the NFL's most formidable rushing offense.

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