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Pierre Thomas expects to practice fully

Updated: December 6, 2010, 9:31 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Saints running back Pierre Thomas, who has missed nine straight games with a sprained left ankle, said he expects to practice this week with "no limitations."

Thomas, who was the Saints leading rusher in 2009, added that he's confident coach Sean Payton wants him back on the field, even though rookie RB Chris Ivory has been thriving with 254 yards and five TDs in the last three games.

"I know he's willing to play me if I'm ready," Thomas said.

Payton said he was "optimistic ...

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