Bush back at practice, coy about status for Sunday

METAIRIE, La. -- Reggie Bush returned to practice on Wednesday, ahead of schedule after learning only two weeks ago he had a torn left knee ligament.

Whether the New Orleans Saints truly expect Bush to play on Sunday is another matter.

"I guess you guys have to wait and see," a grinning Bush said coyly. "I can't give that away yet."

Even if the running back ends up missing his third straight game when the Saints host Philadelphia on Sunday, there could be some advantage to getting the Bush back on the practice field: it gives the Eagles something else to worry about.

"He may or may not play, but they have to prepare as if he's going to play," said Saints running back Aaron Stecker, who has been starting -- and thriving -- since Bush went down. "If they don't prepare for it and all of a sudden he shows up and plays, then they're just looking at themselves, saying, 'Why didn't we prepare?'

"I'm going to prepare the same way, as if I'm going to get the majority of the carries," Stecker continued. "And if he plays, he plays."

Coach Sean Payton normally avoids divulging information about hobbled players' status before NFL rules require him to do so, which would have been the first scheduled practice report on Wednesday. Instead, Payton volunteered on Monday that Bush intended to practice this week in the hope of playing against the Eagles.

Eagles coach Andy Reid wasn't inclined to bet Bush's return to practice was nothing more than a smoke screen.

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