Left guard Robert Gallery, who underwent an emergency appendectomy last month, donned the pads and hit for the first time in training camp in today's lone afternoon practice. It was a pleasant surprise, as Gallery was not expected to be back until Saturday.
"They're good about letting me go as I feel good," said Gallery, who acknowledged that he won't have to wear any special padding over the scar, "so they're not going to throw me back on full speed but (I can) do the little things, and if I keep feeling better than I'll get back to full go."
Meaning he won't play against the Dallas Cowboys in both teams' exhibition opener on Thursday. Plus, as he admitted, he has limitations.
"I'm fat," he said with a laugh. "No, I've just got to get in game shape. You can run all the cross-fields...you want, but until you get out there and put the shoulder pads on, just get back in shape is the main thing, sharpen things up. I'm a little rusty with the timing and that stuff but I felt good."
Said coach Tom Cable: "We're obviously way ahead and he feels great and felt great today. I just talked to him right after, no problems...just kind of ease him back into it today and tomorrow and then we'll get through Thursday night and get going with him on Saturday."
Gallery said he hopes to play in the second exhibition game, on Aug. 22, at the 49ers.
-On the 12th day of camp, rookies Louis Murphy and Mike Mitchell got into the best scrap yet, a slap-and-punch-filled donnybrook that ended with Mitchell flipping off Murphy's helmet and the safety taking the receiver down to the ground as linebacker Kirk Morrison shielded teammates from breaking it up...too soon.
"Them having little quarrels is good, remember that," Cable said with a grin. "This is football and they're men. If you have a brother, you know that it's O.K. to settle some things once in a while."
Both rookies agreed.
"We just got into a heated moment," Murphy said. "Mitch is the kind of player that you run that play, you're blocking, but me and Mitch we're good friends. We quarrel just like close friends. We get into it on the field but after that, it's the end of it."
Said Mitchell: "Louis is one of my best friends, actually, in life. We bonded over the summer and he's definitely one of my guys. It was hot out there today. I don't know, things happen, but we talked about it afterwards. He's going through some stuff right now so it's all good."
Gallery was bemused by the scuffle.
"It's tough, tempers get flaring, but at the end of the day it's about football," Gallery said. "I think when we're all young, you get in fights and when you get older you realize it doesn't do any good besides making you tired. I used to be that way and want to fight everybody and now it's just part of the game. Everybody gets mad at times but you just have to be professional about it and take care of it the right way."
-Darrius Heyward-Bey, who sat out Sunday's practice with a sore toe, was back and had the catch of the day, a one-handed, over-the-shoulder grab down the left sideline to beat Jason Horton on a pass from Charlie Frye.
"I thought maybe this was Darrius' best day in camp," Cable said. "(He) caught the ball well, caught everything, the underneath, the over the top, the big ball on the sideline, the one-handed catch. Those are well for his confidence. We want to keep that coming."
-Javon Walker (knee), Khalif Barnes (ankle), Mark Wilson (back), Justin Fargas (hip), Jeff Garcia (calf), John Bowie (groin), Greg Ellis (back), Michael Huff (ribs), Jon Alston (foot) and Jonathan Holland (knee) did not practice due to injury, though Cable said none were really serious. Still, Walker, Barnes, Wilson and Garcia will not play against the Cowboys. Plus, Cornell Green and Cooper Carlisle were given the day off.
-Cable said the first-stringers will play the first quarter Thursday against the Cowboys.
-The Raiders return to two practices Tuesday, at 8:30 a.m. and 4:20 p.m.