Oakland Raiders linebacker Kaluka Maiava returned to practice on Monday for the first time since suffering an injury to his left ankle on July 28.
"I've been tired of being locked up in the training room and I felt like I had a lot of catching up to do with my teammates," the Baldwin High School
graduate was quoted as saying on the Raiders' website following the team's practice in Alameda, Calif. "They've been grinding this whole camp and I've been feeling left out and kind of letting them down, so felt real great to be back, moving around, and get the season started."
Maiava has not played in any of the Raiders' three preseason games this year.
"If I had my choice, I could play, I would have played last week, but it's just the way my leg is and we'll see what happens," he said. "We'll take it day to day."
The Raiders conclude their exhibition schedule on Thursday with a game against the Seattle Seahawks.
"We'll evaluate how he responds after practice," Oakland coach Dennis Allen was quoted as saying. "If he responds well today and tomorrow, then we'll put him in the game on Thursday night."
The 26-year-old Maiava, who played at Southern Cal, signed with the Raiders in March after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Last year, he played in all 16 of Cleveland's games, starting 13, and had a career-high 53 tackles, as well as two sacks and two forced fumbles.
In 50 career games, Maiava has 133 tackles, including 4 1/2 sacks, with five forced fumbles.