Saints quarterback Drew Brees is expected to return to New Orleans this week and wear a headset or earpiece on the sideline during Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, coach Sean Payton said.

Brees underwent thumb surgery last week in Los Angeles, where he has remained in order to avoid a post-operation setback, according to Payton.

Payton told reporters Wednesday that the first 8-9 days of rehabilitation for Brees’ surgery is crucial, therefore he stayed in Los Angeles.

Payton also said Brees can still be an “asset” for the Saints while he is sidelined with the thumb injury.

ESPN’s Ed Werder contributed to this report.