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Linebackers Closer To Full Strength With Hitchens Expecting To Practice

IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys' linebacker group is getting back to full strength just in time for the season opener, with Anthony Hitchens expecting to work back into practice Wednesday for the first time since spraining his foot Aug. 15 in training camp.

"It's difficult not being out there with my teammates, but it's all behind me now," Hitchens said Tuesday. "I'm getting back out there tomorrow."

Hitchens had been working at first-team middle linebacker before the injury. If everything goes well this week and Hitchens plays Sunday night against the Giants, the Cowboys could move Kyle Wilber or Andrew Gachkar to the strong side with Sean Lee playing the weak side.

Last year's starting middle linebacker Rolando McClain is on the Reserve/Suspended list for the first four games.

Hitchens' versatility is an asset. As a fourth-round pick last year, he started 11 games at all three positions due to injuries (seven on the weak side, three at middle and one on the strong side).

Sidelined for the final three preseason games, Hitchens said he has progressively increased his injury rehab with the team's athletic training staff.

"I just know for myself I was just trying to get better in the film room and watching practice and little things like that," he said. "I'm just excited to be back out there."

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