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Texans tight end Owen Daniels has been medically cleared by Dr. James Andrews, who performed surgery on his injured right knee, and should return to practice by next week.

Head coach Gary Kubiak expects the 2008 Pro Bowler to be ready for the Texans’ regular-season opener against Indianapolis on Sept. 12. Daniels will not play in the preseason finale against Tampa Bay next Thursday.

“Owen’s been cleared; totally healthy,” Kubiak said on Wednesday. “I was out on the practice field during special teams and he called (head athletic trainer Geoff Kaplan) and we talked to Dr. Andrews, and boy, he’s fired up. It’s great for our team.”

Daniels has been on the active/Physically Unable to Perform since July 30, the first day of training camp. He had been unable to practice since tearing his right ACL at Buffalo on Nov. 1, the eighth game of the 2009 season.

“He’s a fine player,” Kubiak said. “He’s a good young man. He’s what we stand for as a team, and for our players to see what he’s been through and then to see how disappointing it was for him to have a setback and now he’s still going to be there opening day, (that) just tells you a lot about what he’s all about.

“No kid’s worked harder to get back.”

Through the first seven games of last season, Daniels was on pace for career-high totals of 89 catches, 1,136 yards and 11 touchdowns. He finished the year with 40 catches for 519 yards and five scores.

“He’s a big part of our offense,” wide receiver Andre Johnson said. “He’s been busting his butt. He’s been doing everything he could to get back out here. I saw him walk in the locker room yesterday, he was pumping his fist. He had got some good news. I’m very excited for him.”

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