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Sources: Patriots RB Sony Michel recovering from foot surgery

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New England Patriots starting running back Sony Michel is recovering from surgery on his foot in May, according to sources. The surgery was viewed as more maintenance-based to help relieve discomfort that Michel had been experiencing.

The Patriots are scheduled to return for training camp in late July, but Michel is already back in Foxborough as part of his rehabilitation. How Michel progresses will ultimately determine whether he starts training camp on the physically unable to perform list.

Michel has been the Patriots' leading rusher each of the past two seasons, finishing last year with 912 yards on 247 carries (3.7 average), with seven touchdowns. In 2018, he totaled 931 yards on 209 carries (4.5 avg.) with six touchdowns, and was instrumental in the team's late-season surge to winning Super Bowl LIII.

Michel has battled multiple knee injuries since the Patriots selected him in the first round of the 2018 draft (31st overall), but he has missed only three games.

During training camp of his rookie season, he had fluid drained from his knee, which sidelined him through the first game of the year. Then in the seventh game of that season, he twisted his knee against the Chicago Bears and missed the next two games.

In June 2019, Michel underwent a knee scope. He spent the first two days of training camp on the physically unable to perform list before returning to practice, and played every game of the season.

In addition to Michel, the Patriots have James White, Rex Burkhead, Brandon Bolden, Damien Harris and J.J. Taylor on the running back depth chart.

Harris, a 2019 third-round draft choice from Alabama who played in just two games as a rookie, could provide valuable insurance for Michel. In college, he averaged 6.4 yards per carry on 477 attempts, which set the Alabama career mark for those with at least 400 carries.

White is the team's "passing back" while Burkhead and Bolden have been valuable backups whose contributions on special teams have locked in their spots on the game-day roster. Taylor is an undrafted free agent from Arizona.