That final stage of recuperation -- plus the words of Seahawks coach Pete Carroll -- point to Seattle's top veteran receivers being ready for the 2010 season.
"Certainly they're going to be ready to go for [training] camp," in late July, Carroll said this week at his latest organized team activity.
Houshmandzadeh says he is about 85 percent recovered from offseason hernia surgery. Seattle's leading receiver with 79 receptions last season caught passes during position drills that were open to the media on Tuesday.
He said he was playing through the hernia at the end of last season, his first with Seattle. He led the NFL in receptions over the previous three seasons while with Cincinnati, then signed a $40 million, five-year contract with the Seahawks last spring.
Branch is running routes again following his third knee surgery in two years, in late April.
"It was a great sign," Carroll said. "It's been a long time those guys have been out. Of course [there's] the rehab concern -- are they going to make it?"
Carroll had said Branch's arthroscopic surgery almost two months ago in Philadelphia was a "very minor" cleanup.
The 30-year-old former Super Bowl MVP injured his left knee on a snowy field in a playoff game at Green Bay in January 2008. He had reconstructive surgery a month later.
He had a follow-up procedure in March 2009 but downplayed that as a minor clean-out that he said is common following knee reconstruction.
Branch has had seasons with 53, 49, 30 and 45 catches for the Seahawks since they acquired him 2006 from New England -- and then gave him a $39 million contract with $13 million guaranteed.
Seattle drafted former Notre Dame star receiver Golden Tate in April's second round because of its need for a playmaker outside. Yet Carroll said last month he saw enough from Branch in a minicamp before his latest surgery to carve out a role for the oft-injured veteran.
The Seahawks made one roster move on Wednesday, claiming cornerback Cord Parks off waivers from St. Louis.
Parks signed with the Rams as an undrafted rookie free agent last April and spent the first 15 weeks of the season on the practice squad. He played in the Rams' final two games and recorded one tackle.