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Kaluka Maiava returns to practice for first time since early training camp

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It has been nearly a month since Raiders linebacker left practice with an ankle injury. Today he returned to practice two weeks prior to the start of the season.

Maiava left practice on day 2 with the aid of trainers. After practice he came out of the locker room on crutches in a walking boot, moving very slowly. The injury was not disclosed by from the looks of it, it was an ankle sprain. That turned out to be the case and the recovery time reflected that.

He was at practice today with a wrap around his ankle but he didn't appear to have restricted movement. Dennis Allen said yesterday it has been difficult judging the linebacking corps in Maiava's absence.

"It's been a challenge we haven't had a real opportunity to watch him," said Allen. "He got hurt fairly early in training camp, so we haven't had a real opportunity to see a lot of evaluation on him. We'll have to make a decision here in 10 days or so on where he fits."

Where he fits has been strong side linebacker behind Kevin Burnett or perhaps splitting time with him. He and Burnett were splitting time through OTA's, minicamp, and the first couple days of camp. His absence means he will likely fall behind Burnett. At least for the immediate future.

I wouldn't expect Maiava to play in the Raiders' preseason finale in Seattle but he will very likely be active for the regular season opener.