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Patriots notebook

Feeling fresh, Warren jumps in

He puts hip surgery in rearview mirror

By Monique Walker
Globe Staff / July 29, 2011

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FOXBOROUGH - The first day back on the field didn’t come with any aches or pains for Ty Warren.

For the 30-year-old defensive end, he couldn’t remember a time when he felt this good to start training camp.

“It’s about as fresh as I’ve been in a long while,’’ Warren said after yesterday morning’s walkthrough.

Warren missed last season because of a hip injury suffered during camp. He underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in August, and missed more than five games for the first time in nine NFL seasons.

“That was really the first big injury I ever had, period,’’ he said. “It just presented a different challenge for me as far as getting back on to the field. I never doubted myself. I feel confident enough to know if I’m out there doing what I need to do, everything will fall in line.’’

Warren participated in the walkthrough, but was on the sideline for the afternoon session, when the Patriots ran through drills wearing helmets, shells, and shorts. Warren was part of a group of players who were stretching and jogging.

“It’s just good to be back out here, missing a whole year, being away from the guys,’’ he said. “I talked to them a lot over the course of the season, and I also talked to them during the offseason when we weren’t able to be here together.’’

With Albert Haynesworth in the mix, it would allow the Patriots to look at more options in a 4-3 defense. If Haynesworth and Vince Wilfork are inside, Warren could be a true defensive end.

“Time will tell,’’ Warren said. “Everything looks good on paper right now, but we’ve still got to come out here on the field and put that work in, put that repetition in. With that coming together and stringing some things along, I think anything is possible.’’

Light close The Patriots and Matt Light were on the verge of a deal last night that would keep the left tackle in New England. An NFL source said the sides were close and Light is expected to sign soon.

Without Light, an 11-year veteran, the Patriots would have to look to right tackle Sebastian Vollmer or first-round pick Nate Solder to step in on the left side.

Taking attendance Solder and a group of fellow draft picks - cornerback Ras-I Dowling, running back Shane Vereen, quarterback Ryan Mallett, and offensive lineman Marcus Cannon - have yet to sign contracts and were not present at either session.

Free agent cornerback Kyle Arrington (exclusive rights), running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (restricted), guard Logan Mankins (franchise), and running back Sammy Morris (unrestricted) can sign their contracts today, but cannot practice until Aug. 4.

Others missing the first day of workouts included veteran tight end Alge Crumpler and defensive lineman Myron Pryor.

The Patriots did sign two rookies, running back Stevan Ridley, a third-round selection, and cornerback Malcolm Jenkins, a seventh-rounder, and both participated in the afternoon session.

Best foot forward Tom Brady participated in the afternoon session and didn’t appear hampered after undergoing foot surgery in January . . . With Light in contract negotiations and Mankins unable to practice, Vollmer and Ryan Wendell manned the left side of the offensive line . . . Today’s sessions will be at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Both are open to the public.

Greg A. Bedard of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Monique Walker can be reached at mwalker@globe.com.

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