Broncos WR Walker returns to practice, could play vs. Chicago

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Broncos receiver Javon Walker returned to practice Wednesday, a sign his right knee has healed enough to possibly allow him to play Sunday at Chicago.

Walker has missed the last eight games due to his injured right knee. He had surgery to clean out the knee on Oct. 19 in Houston.

"It's feeling pretty good," said Walker, who tore the ACL in his right knee in the 2005 opener while with Green Bay. "It's not completely healed. But it's something I can work through. It feels good."

Broncos coach Mike Shanahan was encouraged by the presence of Walker on the practice field. The limp was barely detectable as the sixth-year receiver ran pass routes.

"If there are no setbacks, he should be ready to go," Shanahan said.

Walker had 19 catches for 230 yards through the first three games of the season. Then his knee began to swell and he sat out two games. When the knee showed no signs of improvement, he elected to have surgery.

Walker said he held his own against Pro Bowl defensive backs Dre' Bly and Champ Bailey on Wednesday. That gave him a boost of confidence.

"If I can come out here and run some good routes against these DBs, I'm pretty sure I'll be ready on Sunday to go against somebody else's DBs," Walker said. "I don't think it's going to be anything that slows me down."

However, Walker was a little winded after practice.

"It's like coming in on the first day to start workouts again," Walker said with a grin. "It feels good to be catching balls. I'm happy to be out here running routes again."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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