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Favre probable for Sunday

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Brett Favre threw several passes and passed one crucial test Wednesday in his first practice since breaking his right thumb 10 days earlier.

Favre, who will experiment with a variety of sheaths and splints
this week, took several snaps from center Mike Flanagan and threw
short tosses during 7-on-7 drills in the Green Bay Packers' workout
that was closed to the media.

"Just trial and error basically today, but it went OK," said
Favre, who has a hairline fracture beneath the fingernail on the
thumb of his throwing hand.

Favre was listed as probable for Sunday's game at Minnesota.

He broke the thumb at St. Louis on Oct. 19, when he struck guard
Mike Wahle's right shoulder pad on a follow-through. He stayed in
the game and went 23-of-32 for 268 yards and two touchdowns.

If not for the Packers' bye week, however, Favre's streak of 197
consecutive starts, an NFL record for quarterbacks, might have been
snapped.

On Wednesday, Favre revealed more about the severity of the
injury, which he initially thought was a bad bruise.

"I felt something pop," Favre said. "But I figured, stuff
pops every morning when I wake up. So, you kind of get used to
that."

Therefore, Favre said he declined the team doctor's advice to
have the thumb X-rayed at halftime. But when his thumb swelled to
double its normal size as he warmed up for the third quarter, he
encouraged backup Doug Pederson to get ready.

"That's the first time I've ever done that," Favre said.

An X-ray the day after the game revealed the fracture.

Initially, the Packers figured Favre wouldn't practice until
Thursday, but he pushed up the timetable by 24 hours and also
dismissed offensive coordinator Tom Rossley's suggestion that he
not take any snaps and just hold the ball under center as he barked
out the play calls.

Favre wore a metal splint Wednesday "and it felt awkward but I
was able to throw the ball effectively," he said.

He said he'd rather not have anything on his thumb but the
team's medical staff -- which prefers he sit out a game to let the
bone knit -- insists he use some sort of protection if he does play.

"And I say, 'Fine, but I have to have some freedom in being
able to throw. If you're going to leave me with four fingers, even
though the thumb is there but it's like a cast, then it does me no
good,"' Favre said.

Rossley said he wouldn't be surprised if Favre plays like his
usual three-time MVP self on Sunday despite his broken thumb.

"That's what we're all hoping, that he'll come out with that
Superman suit on and go," Rossley said.

Favre has a long history of recovering quickly from serious
injuries.

With the help of a bye week last year, he overcame the scariest
injury of his career to beat Miami two weeks after tearing a
ligament in his left knee.

"I want to play because I think I can help this team win, not
because I'm trying to be a tough guy or extend some streak," Favre
said.

Quarterback Neil O'Donnell, 37, who was waived by Tennessee on
Aug. 31, had a tryout with the Packers on Tuesday, but coach Mike
Sherman said it had nothing to do with Favre's status for this
week.

"Not at all. It's reflective of possibilities down the road if
something were to happen," Sherman said. "He's fine, did a good
job."