Harris showing improvement, could return soon

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Green Bay Packers cornerback Al Harris' spleen injury showed "significant improvement" in medical tests, and he could return later this month, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Monday.

"Obviously we are moving in the right direction," McCarthy said. "So, we'll see what the other doctors' opinions (are). That's just one doctor's opinion. We'll send his results out and get back more information. I think he will be hard-pressed to make it this week, but I think after the bye is realistic."

The Packers host Indianapolis on Sunday and have a bye the following week.

Harris received a CT scan that showed his lacerated spleen is healing "amazingly" well, according to nationalfootballpost.com, a Web site that lists Harris' agent, Jack Bechta, as a contributor.

"Al is waiting for further evaluation from the Packers medical staff," the site said. "It is likely Harris can return to play after the Packers bye week."

Harris, who made his first Pro Bowl last season and typically takes on the opposing team's top receiver each week, was injured in the first quarter of Green Bay's loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 21.

It's not a typical football injury, but not unheard of. Then-Tampa Bay quarterback Chris Simms was sidelined for the rest of the season by a ruptured spleen in 2006.

Harris' replacement, second-year player Tramon Williams, has had an interception in each of the three games he has started.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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