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Nick Fairley Returns To Practice For Lions

The Detroit Lions' 2011 draft class has been ravaged with injuries. Mikel Leshoure and Johnny Culbreath are on injured reserve, and although he is much better now, Titus Young missed a good chunk of training camp because of a hamstring issue. First-round pick Nick Fairley has also dealt with an injury, as he broke his foot on Aug. 1.

Fairley went on to miss the rest of training camp, all four preseason games and the first two games of the regular season. It's not clear when he will make his game debut for the Lions, but his recovery has progressed enough for him to practice. Fairley took part in the individual drills at Friday morning's practice, and according to Tim Twentyman, the team was quite excited to see him on the field.

Nick Fairley is participating in drills, too. The guys seem pretty amped up to have him out there

Considering Alphonso Smith broke his foot before training camp and still hasn't played yet despite practicing in recent weeks, Fairley probably won't be back for another couple of weeks at the least. Even so, it's a good sign that he was able to return to practice, as that indicates he is closer to being 100 percent healthy.