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Gary Kubiak hopes Arian Foster will practice Monday

Houston Texans running back Arian Foster hasn't practiced since May because of nagging calf and back pain, but his long offseason respite finally is drawing to a close. We think.

Coach Gary Kubiak told reporters Thursday he expects Foster to resume practicing Monday, the Houston Chronicle reported. The Texans want their workhorse back to take a handful of carries in the team's third preseason game Aug. 25 against the New Orleans Saints.

Kubiak issued similar return-to-practice expectations for Foster two weeks ago, but that was before the fifth-year pro came down with back pain.

The Texans have proceeded cautiously with their prized jewel all offseason. Foster -- coming off a 1,424-yard, 15-touchdown ground campaign -- remains tucked away on the active/physically unable to perform list, but his calf is fine, Kubiak said this week. Assuming the back issues melt away, we'll get our first taste of Foster in live action against the Saints -- and he looms as a lock to start Week 1.

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