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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. — Cornerback Delvin Breaux, the Saints’ clear front-runner to start at nickel back, returned to practice on Thursday.

Breaux has been held out of practice this week after suffering a minor injury against the Baltimore Ravens last week.

Defensive end Akiem Hicks, who left Wednesday’s practice against the Patriots, is being held out of Thursday’s session.

Wide receiver Lance Lewis is also out of uniform, although he’s on the field observing practice. Offensive lineman Cyril Lemon continues to attend practice, although he hasn’t returned yet.

The rest of the Saints’ injuries remain unchanged. Cornerback Brandon Browner and safety Kenny Vaccaro arw both at practice and observing. Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and cornerback Keenan Lewis both did the same on Wednesday.

Defensive end Anthony Spencer, outside linebacker Ronald Powell and inside linebacker Ramon Humber remain out of practice. Running back C.J. Spiller is not expected to return to the practice field soon, but he’s been in the meeting rooms.

Safety Jairus Byrd, who Saints coach Sean Payton told ESPN will likely return before the end of the preseason, remains out.

“We’ll see, ” Payton said when asked about a preseason return for Byrd on Thursday morning.