Tom Brady practiced Tuesday with the New England Patriots for the first time since suffering a season-ending knee injury in last season’s opening game.
Brady and nearly the entire team participated in the first of four days of this week’s organized team activities, Patriots spokesman Stacey James said.
The first three days of OTAs were held last week for young players and others signed as free agents in the offseason who needed more time to get used to the playbook. About 50 players, roughly half the team, took part in those. The sessions are voluntary.
The only media access for this week’s sessions is Thursday. James said that Brady threw passes and did other activities during his first formal practice with the club since he suffered a torn left knee ligament midway through the first quarter of the Patriots’ 17-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Brady had surgery Oct. 6 and a subsequent operation for an infection in the knee.
There have been numerous signs that the NFL MVP in 2007 would be ready for the season opener Sept. 14 against the Buffalo Bills.
In an interview for this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated, Brady said he has no pain or restrictions in his movement.
He was quoted as saying that he is “as confident as anyone could be that I’ll be ready to play, back to playing normally, when the season starts. I’ve done everything I could to push myself, sometimes too hard. Right now, I’m doing everything. Literally everything. There’s nothing I can’t do.”
• Boldin ready to fire agent: Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin is in the process of firing his agent Drew Rosenhaus.
Boldin, in a long contract dispute with the team, informed the NFL Players Association in a letter that he intended to replace the agent. The players association says it received the letter on Friday, so with the required five-day waiting period, Boldin can sign with a new agent Thursday.
Boldin, who has two years left on his contract with the Cardinals, is upset with the team’s management over what he says was a failed promise for a new deal last offseason. He has asked for a trade. The Cardinals said they would listen to offers but on draft day said no team had proposed a deal that could be seriously considered.
• Cowboys, Ellis parting ways: The Dallas Cowboys and veteran pass rusher Greg Ellis aren’t waiting for another offseason spat before splitting up, apparently for good.
The 12th-year pro with a recent history of complaining about his role, his contract, or both will likely play elsewhere in 2009, owner Jerry Jones said.
The only question is whether the departure comes through a trade or the linebacker’s release. Either way, the Cowboys figure to get about $4 million in salary cap relief while remaining on the hook for $1.5 million in guaranteed money.
It could take Vitor Meira four months to recover from injuries suffered during Sunday’s Indianapolis 500, and he may not return to his Florida home until later this week.
Series officials said Meira was expected to spend his third consecutive night at Methodist Hospital after breaking two vertebrae in his back. Though he could be released from the Indianapolis hospital today, Meira may not be cleared for travel until Saturday.
A.J. Foyt, Meira’s team owner, moved quickly to replace him in the No. 14 car albeit temporarily. The four-time Indy winner hired former Champ Car points champion Paul Tracy to replace Meira this weekend in Milwaukee.
Three leave Kentucky
Kentucky announced that three players from last year’s squad are leaving the program, bringing the Wildcats closer to their roster limit of 13 scholarship players.
Sophomore forward A.J. Stewart plans to transfer, as does 6-foot-3 freshman Donald Williams. Senior Jared Carter will not seek a fifth year of eligibility. Kentucky is now down to 15 scholarship players – including coach John Calipari’s incoming freshman class.
That number could be 14 should top scorer Jodie Meeks leave for the NBA draft.
• Nowitzki acquaintance pregnant: A woman who said she was carrying Dallas Mavericks’ star Dirk Nowitzki’s child was pregnant after she was booked into the Dallas County jail on May 6, according to a newspaper report.
The Dallas Morning News reported that medical records it obtained from the Dallas County jail and Parkland Hospital showed 37-year-old Crista Ann Taylor was administered the pregnancy test and the result was positive. The tests do not determine paternity.
Taylor has said that Nowitzki was her fiancé and that she learned she was pregnant after she was arrested at his house on a probation violation and theft of services warrants.
Three tied for lead
Northwestern’s Jonathan Bowers, Illinois’ Scott Langley and North Carolina State’s Matt Hill shot 2-under-par 69s to lead the individual race, while Oklahoma State and Georgia shared the team lead through the opening medal-play round at the NCAA Division I men’s golf championship in Toledo, Ohio.
University of Washington’s Nick Taylor is one shot off the pace. Only eight players in the 156-man field broke par.
• Quinnipiac cuts track: Quinnipiac University in Hartford, Conn., reinstated its women’s volleyball team and dropped men’s indoor track in response to an injunction issued last week in a gender equity lawsuit against the school. The announcement came four days after U.S. Judge Stefan Underhill prevented the school from carrying out plans to eliminate the volleyball program, a move announced in March as part of budget cuts that also saw the elimination of men’s outdoor track and golf.
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