FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Tom Brady is back with his New England Patriots teammates, laughing and talking with them -- and, more importantly, rehabilitating the injured left knee that ended his season in the very first quarter of the season's first game.
"It's good to see him around, hanging out, smiling," defensive end Jarvis Green said Tuesday. "It looks like he's in a good mood. I just spoke to him a few times, joked with him, but it looks like he's OK."
Brady underwent surgery on Oct. 6 and said on his Web site on Oct. 18 that he had another operation on the knee after it became infected. The Boston Herald reported that he had two more procedures since then to fight an infection and that he was on a six-week course of intravenous antibiotics. The team has not commented on those details.
The star quarterback was back in Foxborough on Nov. 4 and has been working in the Gillette Stadium training room beside teammates who are busy preparing for games. He has not been seen in the locker room during the period when it is open to the media. A black knee brace was on the chair at his locker Tuesday.
The Boston Herald reported that, according to a source familiar with Brady's condition, the quarterback is working daily with the team's training staff to address the stiffness resulting from the infection, with the goal of restoring mobility and range of motion. According to the source, that stiffness is typical for someone dealing with a post-operative infection.
"Right now, [the knee's] stiff, he's a little behind [schedule], and they want to get him going with his range of motion," the source said, according to the Herald.
Brady appears to be making normal progress for someone with a post-surgical infection, and fears of a major setback seem to have subsided. His teammates sense that in his demeanor.
"It's always good to see a teammate, especially if they're injured, and just talking to him and getting insights on what he's seen" in the team's play, running back Kevin Faulk said Tuesday. "He's always been contactable. I talked to him pretty much every other week. It's just, 'How are you doing?'"
And how is he doing?
"He's doing good," Faulk said.
The Patriots, citing team policy, have not given details of the injury. It had been widely reported as a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a torn medial collateral ligament. He was hurt when he was hit by Kansas City's Bernard Pollard in New England's 17-10 win over the Chiefs.
Since then, Matt Cassel has progressed steadily as Brady's replacement. His first pro start came the following Sunday in a 19-10 win over the New York Jets. The Patriots and Jets, tied for first place in the AFC East at 6-3, play at Foxborough on Thursday night.
Safety Rodney Harrison has also been back at Gillette Stadium after having surgery for a torn quadriceps muscle in his right thigh that ended his season on Oct. 20 during a 41-7 win over the Denver Broncos.
"I've seen him once since the surgery, but that's great," Green said of Harrison. "I don't know how other teams are, but for us, when a guy comes back, the camaraderie and guys just hanging out and enjoying each other shows we're still a team."
The Patriots have been slammed by injuries at running back. Laurence Maroney is out for the season with a shoulder injury, LaMont Jordan missed the last five games with a calf problem and Sammy Morris was sidelined for the past three games with a knee injury. Jordan did not practice Tuesday and Morris was limited in his participation.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who started the season on the practice squad, has filled in and run for a touchdown in each of the past four games. In Sunday's 20-10 win over the Buffalo Bills, he rushed for 105 yards on 26 carries.
With only three days between games, Green-Ellis has been too busy preparing for the Jets to get Brady's reaction to that performance.
"I haven't seen him today," Green-Ellis said, but "I just like to hear his voice. I like the sound of his voice. ... He's Brady. He's cool. He's real cool."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.