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In early June, there were reasons for optimism that Patriots receiver Wes Welker could be ready to play in Week One. With another month of Welker rehabilitating his surgically repaired knee behind him, that hasn’t changed.

Michael Lombardi reported Tuesday on NFL Network’s Total Access that Welker is ahead of schedule.

Lombardi reported that Welker likely won’t be a full participant when training camp opens on July 31, but that he’s making enough progress that he’ll probably be cleared for team workouts at some point during training camp.

Welker suffered a torn ACL in the regular-season finale on January 3. The Patriots’ 2010 regular-season opener is September 12.

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