Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said on this morning's Big Ten teleconference that injured sophomore Cully Payne is making progress as he works his way back from surgery to repair a sports hernia. McCaffery said it is too early to know when or even if Payne will return to action this season for the Hawkeyes. "It's too early to tell, but he's feeling a lot better,'' McCaffery said. "I was a litlte concerned because he had the hernia and the torn oblique. He was in a lot of pain for the first seven, eight days. Subsequent to that, he's feeling good.'' Payne was walking with much more ease at Friday's game against Iowa State than he had been, a sign of the progress he is making. Payne is now attending practices on a daily basis and interacting with teammates. McCaffery said the timeframe for Payne's return has not changed from the initial four-to-eight weeks he was given. "From four to eight weeks, that's a big difference,'' McCaffery said. "We'll see how it goes.'' McCaffery said no determination will be made as to whether Payne would be better suited to use a redshirt year this season until doctors have cleared his return to practice. "We'll look at it then and make a determination at that time,'' McCaffery said. Payne has not played since a Nov. 22 game against Long Beach State and underwent surgery on Nov. 30.