Payton ‘optimistic’ about return of Bush

The injury situation in the Saints backfield continues to be an ever-changing scenario. A day after placing key reserve Aaron Stecker on injured reserve, the team held out Deuce McAllister on Thursday with swelling in his left knee.

“It was maintenance and just monitoring where he’s at,” coach Sean Payton said. “They drained it yesterday and we wanted to rest him today and see if it could calm down some.”

The much-anticipated return of Reggie Bush also appears closer. Bush, who was held out for a third straight game in Week 11, took part in a limited portion of practice for the second straight day. Bush’s practice left Payton “more optimistic” than at the same point last week.

“He was able to get through practice,” said Payton. “He’s further along than he was last week. We’ll see how he responds tomorrow.”

The Saints signed RB Mike Bell and FB Darian Barnes this week to provide depth.

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