Boldin practices, hopes to play against Carolina

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TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Anquan Boldin returned to practice for the Arizona Cardinals Monday, just over three weeks after he was injured on a vicious hit by the New York Jets' Eric Smith.

The standout wide receiver was scheduled to see a doctor Tuesday and hoped to gain medical clearance to play Sunday, when the Cardinals are at Carolina.

Boldin underwent surgery to repair a sinus fracture and wasn't able to eat solid food until about a week ago. He said he lost 10 pounds, but regained it when he was able to return to eating solid foods and lifting weights.

Boldin was off to a terrific start with 27 catches for 366 yards and five touchdowns in four games. He was hurt in the waning seconds of the Cardinals' 56-35 loss to the Jets when he went up in the air to try to catch a pass in the end zone.

He was hit from behind on the play, then took a helmet-to-helmet shot from Smith from the front. Smith was fined $50,000 and suspended for a game because of the hit.