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Wood takes big step in comeback

Guard Eric Wood took another step forward in his return to the lineup during the Buffalo Bills' mandatory minicamp practice on Wednesday morning.

Wood saw his most extended action of the spring, working with the starting unit for about half of the 11-on-11 team drills held in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Wood, who suffered a compound fracture of his left leg last Nov. 12, said he's well ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation.

"Just to be able to come back out here and get to work, it feels really good," Wood said. "I guess we're looking at seven months. They said it'd be a year so it feels good to be out here."

Wood, who rested during the afternoon practice, said the team is limiting his reps.

"They're not trying to push me too hard off the bat and hurt my recovery in any way. It's healed but there's still a lot going on down there that needs to be ironed out. They're not giving me all the reps with the [first teamers] but I'm doing about half the reps. I didn't plan on being back for the end of OTAs but as the rehab went on it looked more realistic."

Said coach Chan Gailey: "I'm glad he's getting the reps, but more so for the mental aspect for him. Now he'll really be ready to go in training camp. I think this gives him a great jump start on that."

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Trent Edwards played quarterback with the first-team offense in the morning session, followed by Ryan Fitzpatrick and then Brian Brohm.

In the afternoon session, Fitzpatrick got the first chance in seven-on-seven and the 11-on-11 red zone periods. Edwards was second and Brohm third in both. Then the team ran a two-minute drill, and Edwards worked with the starters. Fitzpatrick took the other two-minute series the team held.

Everyone on the team was in attendance except for defensive end Aaron Schobel, who is planning on retiring. Linebacker Keith Ellison was not on the field due to a minor injury, Gailey said.

Not practicing due to injuries were Demetrius Bell, Ed Wang, Nic Harris and Joe Klopfenstein. Terrence McGee, coming back from minor shoulder surgery, was limited.

e-mail: mgaughan@buffnews.com

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