Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien told reporters Monday that while he wasn't prepared to say definitively whether running back Arian Foster will play Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, the star back's return isn't far off.

"I think we're close," O'Brien said, per the Houston Chronicle. "I don't know that answer today (whether he'll play), but he's been out there the past couple of weeks of practice and it's looked pretty good. Again, anytime we have a veteran player like that that we're dealing with that type of injury, I think we listen a lot to that player. Basically how do you feel. We'll go on that a little bit and we'll go on what our doctors say and we'll go from there."

Foster tore his groin early in training camp and had surgery Aug. 7. Alfred Blue has started at running back in his absence and is coming off a big game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, running for 139 yards and a touchdown in the win.

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O'Brien also said another key Texan may soon be back on the field as well. Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown, who sat out the last two games with a thumb injury, is expected to return to practice this week.

"I think that Duane in a similar conversation to like the Arian thought there, I think Duane is very close to being back to being able to play," O'Brien sad.