After missing four games with a thumb injury, linebacker Clay Matthews expects to return to the field for the Green Bay Packers on Sunday when they face the Philadelphia Eagles.
If the coaches and medical staff give him the go-ahead, Matthews plans to play with a protective covering over the fractured thumb. He worked out Wednesday and practiced on a limited basis with the team on Thursday.
"In that position, obviously, you need to have great hands when you take one away. It definitely hinders your game a little bit," Matthews told USA Today about playing with the cast.
"I'm more comfortable than I was (Wednesday), but I need to continue to be able to stick it in there a little bit more and become OK with using a club. We'll take it day by day. But it's getting better."
Matthews suffered a broken thumb in an Oct. 6 win over the Detroit Lions and underwent surgery. Before the injury, the fifth-year pro had three sacks in five games.
"I hope he's very effective," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said, according to USA Today. "He's a dynamic football player. It'd be great to get him back on the field."
Outside linebacker Nick Perry also might return this week after recovering from a foot injury.