Plaxico Burress expected to practice

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress was excused from the team walkthrough Thursday morning because of a "personal" matter, but he returned to training camp and practiced on a limited basis in the afternoon.

His sprained left ankle remains an issue, with coach Rex Ryan admitting that the injury flared up earlier in the week after Burress tested it in practice.

"He had a little more swelling in the ankle and that was to be expected, but it wasn't terrible," said Ryan, who hopes to play Burress in the preseason opener Monday night in Houston. "That's the thing you try to avoid by, how much do you push him? If we would've really pushed him, it could've really been a problem."

Burress, who rolled his ankle eight days ago in an informal workout, did his most extensive work Monday, participating in positional drills and taking three reps in the team portion of practice. The next day, he was held out of team drills. Players were off Wednesday.

Burress was limited in practice Thursday, participating in positional drills but no team work.

Ryan continued to characterize it as a "minor" injury, saying he's not aware of any plans to have Burress take an MRI exam. Ryan said they're being cautious, adding, "If there's swelling ... there's no sense in pushing him."

The team declined to give the reason for Burress' absence, with Ryan calling it a "planned excused deal."

The Jets are 11 days into training camp, and yet Burress has participated in only four team reps since signing a one-year, $3 million contract. He was required to sit the first three days, per the post-lockout rules, as players with new contracts waited for the CBA to be ratified.

Time soon will become an issue, as quarterback Mark Sanchez tries to build chemistry with his revamped receiving corps. He and Burress dined together Wednesday night in Manhattan, and they discussed their plans once he's healthy.

"What Plax and I talked about was, as soon as he's ready to go, we just have to hit it hard," Sanchez said, adding, "There's plenty of time to get things right. The important thing is, just don't waste time when he gets back."

Barring a setback to the ankle, Ryan said he'd like Burress to see action against the Texans.

"We won't put him out there if we think he's at risk ... but I'd like to see him get out there for a few snaps," Ryan said. "I'm expecting him to play some."

Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.