FOXBOROUGH — Tom Brady returned to workouts with the Patriots Thursday, one day after exiting with a left knee injury.

Brady wore a brace on his left knee onto the field at training camp and was practicing normally, while the Patriots conducted a light joint workout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The players wore shells and helmets for what was essentially a walk-through in preparation for their preseason game Friday night.

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“With Brady back out there, for us it’s a great sign,” said running back Stevan Ridley. “It was a scary moment, but with Tom, I know he’s a competitor, he’s going to do whatever to get out there.

“I’m just glad they took him out, checked him out, made sure he was good. My heart’s at peace knowing he’s OK.”

Ridley said players knew not long after practice ended Wednesday that Brady’s injury was not serious.

“That’s our leader, man,” said Ridley. “I’ll say that first and foremost: We ride with Tom Brady all the way. Anytime you see somebody go down like that, everything stops in front of you, but for us, we just have to move on, hope for the best, and that’s what we did.

“We found out later that day in team meetings that he was OK and that’s all the news we needed to hear — that our quarterback was going to be with us and not have any major surgeries or anything. So we’re relieved.”

Asked if he believes Brady will play Friday night, Ridley said, “I know he’s going to be there when it counts. When the season matters the most, Tom’s going to be out there.

“I just don’t want us to rush him or anything like that. I think Tom will make the right decision and the coaches will, too.”

Brady exited Wednesday with what two league sources said was a knee sprain. The injury, which happened in full pads, came when Brady was looking to his right and threw a long pass toward Aaron Dobson.

To Brady’s left, Patriots tackle Nate Solder was bull-rushed by Tampa Bay defensive end Adrian Clayborn, who pushed Solder backward, right into Brady, who went down to the grass.

Brady was not wearing his knee brace when the injury occurred.