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Lions' Best hopes to be cleared for practice next week

The SportsXchange

Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best will find out Friday if his year-long ordeal with brain trauma is finally over.

He took his latest battery of concussion tests Monday and said he would get the results Friday.

"I am as hopeful as ever," Best said. "When you take these concussion tests, there's a lot of stuff that goes on. I don't know if you could call it grades or not, it's just a lot of stuff. I can't give you my opinion on how it went. I am just hopeful for the best."

Best, who suffered his last concussion against the 49ers Oct. 16, 2011, is eligible to come off the physically unable to perform list next week. If he passes the test and is cleared for physical contact, he could return to practice Wednesday and conceivably be ready to play against the Bears on Oct. 22.

"I am definitely physically ready," he said. "Now, when I get out there and practice, I mean, I haven't played the game in a long time. So we'll have to see how I feel. I am pretty sure it'll be easy."

He was quick to point out, though, that another failed test won't necessarily mean his career is over.

"No," he said when asked directly if he would retire if the tests came back bad. "Then we would have to sit back down and have more discussions and see where we go. But today I am not drawing any conclusions from anything. I am just doing the best thing I can do to get myself ready to play next week."

Players who come off PUP have three weeks to return to practice and eventually take a spot on the 53-man roster. So should Best fail the test again, the Lions would have that timeframe before having to decide whether to put Best on season-ending injured reserve.

"I like to cross bridges as we get to them," Best said. "I can create different scenarios and different plans, but until we actually get there, we won't know what happens."

Best has stayed active and attentive in the meeting rooms and has been, as he put it, "working out like an animal," in the weight room.

"My intentions are to get back out there," said Best, who has noticeably built up his upper body, particularly around the back and neck. "I am trying as hard as I can, doing everything I can do to get out there. It's just up to what they (doctors) say."

As the interview was winding down, Best was asked if he longs for the day when the questions are about football and his performance and not about his health.

"That will be a good day," he said. "And hopefully that will be (Oct. 22) after the game."

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