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Welker bracing for a return to full strength

09.16.10 at 12:47 pm ET

FOXBORO — As much as he can’t stand the feeling of the bulky contraption on his left knee, Wes Welker knows the brace is there for a reason.

And he only has to look at the opponent this week for a reminder as to what can happen if you discard the precautionary device too soon.

Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kris Jenkins re-injured his left knee last week and was placed on season-ending injured reserve this week. Asked if that provides enough motivation to keep wearing his brace, Welker smiled nervously and said, “Yeah, thanks for that.”

Welker could certainly be forgiven if he’s is playing it cautious with the precautionary brace.

“We’ll see where we’re at,” Welker said. “I’m definitely ready to get rid of it. We’re definitely going to be cautious with it.”

Welker admitted Thursday that he would love to be without the bulky brace on his left knee but that might be wishful thinking at this early point of the season.

Welker caught eight passes for 64 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Sunday’s 38-24 win over the Bengals at Gillette Stadium. Still, Welker doesn’t feel he’s physically back to where he was before tearing up the knee on Jan. 3 in last year’s regular season finale at Houston.

“It takes a full year until I’m me again, is what they say,” Welker said Thursday.

Read More: Jets, Kris Jenkins, left knee, Patriots



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