James ready to return for Colts

Updated: October 24, 2003, 8:21 PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS -- Edgerrin James is ready to return to the Indianapolis Colts' starting lineup Sunday after missing three games due to a lower back injury.

The two-time NFL rushing champion has not played since hurting his back against Jacksonville on Sept. 21.

"The back feels a lot better, but since I haven't played for four weeks I might need a breather now and then," James said Friday. "But that would be only thing.

"It's sort of like starting the season over again. You have to realistic with everything. You can't try and go out there and try to be Superman."

Coach Tony Dungy said the 5-1 Colts would have plenty of help for James against the Houston Texas (2-4).

"I think he is ready to go and ready to play the whole game," Dungy said. "We'll monitor him and watch him. But on the crucial plays, he'll be in there."

James did not plan to wear a brace to protect his back.

"I'm going to have a pad on, but it's a rare injury," he said. "It's hard for somebody to actually hit you there."

The Colts will likely be without offensive tackles Tarik Glenn and Adam Meadows and tight end Dallas Clark.

Glenn, who had his 101-game consecutive start streak snapped two weeks ago, practiced just once over the past three weeks because of a sprained left knee.

Meadows, who twisted his right knee during a walkthrough before practice Wednesday, and Clark (hamstring) missed practices on Thursday and Friday.

"My sense is that we have to plan to be without them and then if they can play it would be a plus," Dungy said.

Cornerback Cliff Crosby also was expected to miss Sunday's game. He has been unable to practice since pulling a groin against Carolina two weeks ago.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index