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Matt Hasselbeck (ribs) returns to practice, limited

Matt Hasselbeck returned to Colts practice Thursday on a limited bases after sitting out Wednesday, but the word out of Indianapolis sounds ominous.

The 40-year-old quarterback is dealing with rib separation. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday on NFL Network that the rib injury is "incredibly painful" for the quarterback.

Hasselbeck told reporters that breathing is still a struggle due to the injury. When asked if he can throw without pain in his ribs, the veteran laughed (translation: no).

Despite doing little today in practice, the expectation remains that Hasselbeck will be available Sunday in a pivotal matchup with the Houston Texans, which will go a long way in deciding the AFC South title. The hope is that the signal-caller will be able to ramp up his workload Friday and be healthy enough to play Sunday, per Rapoport.

Still, a 40-year-old body doesn't recover the same as one a decade or more younger. It's appearing more likely Hasselbeck's status will come down to a game-time decision.

Charlie Whitehurst would get the call for the Colts if Hasselbeck's ribs remain a problem. 

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