Foster averaged 4.5 yards per carry in eight games last season and is poised for a big 2014 workload with Ben Tate now in Cleveland.
"He's good. He's going to participate in the spring," O'Brien said. "I've had like three conversations with Arian, good conversations, good guy. I believe he'll be ready to go in the minicamps."
O'Brien also said that while he doesn't have all the running back depth he's used to having, he expects Foster to have a large role in the Houston offense, which is no surprise given his track record.
"He's shown to be one of the better backs in this league," O'Brien said. "He's carried the load in the past. ... Arian's going to be a guy that we're looking to lean on, no question about it."
"He's working hard, he's in the building, he's in the training room consistently," Smith said. "The reports I'm getting from Geoff [Kaplan, head trainer] indicate he's going to be fine."
Foster struggled with several injuries last season, starting with a calf strain during organized team activities then a back injury that healed in time for him to start the regular season. Foster also dealt with a hamstring injury and then finally a back injury which knocked him out for the rest of the season when he decided to have surgery.
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