O'Brien: Foster to return 'sooner rather than later'

Arian Foster's return should happen sooner rather than later.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Foster won't be placed on the injured reserve/designated to return list as initially expected, per two sources informed of the plans.

Foster could be back in a month, per Rapoport. Texans coach Bill O'Brien also gave an optimistic update on his star running back while speaking the reporters Monday.

"Arian's doing well. I believe that he is working very hard to get back," O'Brien said. "I think he'll be back sooner rather than later.

"As it stands today, I believe he's working really, really hard to get back," O'Brien continued. "He's a very hard-working guy in the training room. I think he'll be back sooner rather than later based on the early prognosis."

A torn groin was originally thought to keep the Houston Texans' running back out into November, but after successful surgery, he could be back by late September.

It's an optimistic timeline for Foster's return, but it has to have O'Brien -- not to mention fantasy football owners -- smiling from ear to ear.

Foster's injury scuttled early training camp optimism for the Texans' offense. With a game-manager in Brian Hoyer leading the team under center and no standout replacing Foster in the backfield, the Texans' chances at a playoff stop hinge in a quick return of their leading rusher.

Foster has a history of soft-tissue injuries, so the Texans could decide to play it safe with their most important offensive piece. Not placing him on IR Boomerang is a great first step in his return to the field.

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