Doug Gabriel says he is ready

Doug Gabriel wants to play against the Kansas City Chiefs this week. The Raiders wide receiver says he's ready to play, dislocated fingers or not. Oakland head coach Norv Turner, however, has different plans.

Gabriel, who caught a pair of touchdowns in the preseason including a 70-yard bomb from quarterback Kerry Collins, hasn't played since Week Two of the preseason. He underwent surgery to have pins placed in his left index finger on Aug. 24 and had to wear a cast on his hand.

The cast has since been removed and Gabriel was running routes on the field at Gillette Stadium prior to the Raiders season-opening loss to New England last Thursday. While that is a definite step in the right direction, it seems Gabriel and the Raiders are at odds over when he'll be able to return to the active roster.

''When do I expect (to play)? I didn't expect to leave, for one thing, but you know, it comes with it,'' Gabriel said Monday. ''Could I play this week? Yes I can. Do I think (I will)? I don't know. I'm not sure. I went out the other day and did a little running around. It was good.''

When asked about Gabriel on Friday, Turner said there was a chance the veteran receiver could return before the team's bye in Week Five but did not rule out the rehabilitation taking longer.

On Monday, Turner reiterated his stance.

''The reasons are purely medical. When he's cleared I'll be as excited as anyone to have him out there and going,'' Turner said. ''We've all been through it forever now when a player says, 'I'm ready to go' and the doctors say he's not ready to go. I think Doug is getting close. And I think Doug is going to try to have some influence with the medical staff and the medical staff is going to make the best decision based on having him ready to go and not having a situation where he goes and then he has a setback and he misses six weeks because he went too soon.

''Doug's got to get himself where he can go and not be at risk of injuring that or re-injuring that."

Gabriel seems to think he's there now.

''If it was up to me, I'd be playing,'' he said.

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