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Light improving, Neal optimistic

Posted by Adam Kilgore, Globe Staff  November 17, 2009 08:30 PM

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Patriots left tackle Matt Light said he is “improving” in his rehab from a knee injury, and guard Stephen Neal does not believe the head injury he suffered Sunday night will be a significant problem this week.

Light and Neal both addressed their injuries last night while attending the Legends Ball in Foxborough, an event to benefit the Hockomock Area YMCAs.

Neal, by most measures the Patriots’ best offensive lineman this season, left Sunday night’s game after Tom Brady’s second interception because he was dinged on the back of his helmet during the return. Neal, who does not have a history of head injuries, did not re-enter the game.

“I don’t think it was diagnosed as” a concussion, Neal said. “I’m here. I’m standing up without swaying.”

Light, meanwhile, has not played since he was helped off the field against the Broncos in Denver in Week 5. Light returned to practice last week and was listed as doubtful entering Sunday night before being declared inactive for the fourth straight game.

“I was working at it,” Light said. “But it wasn’t quite right.”

Light was unsure of his status for this Sunday.

“Honestly, I don’t know,” he said. “They’re the ones that handle all that stuff. It’s getting better. Every day, it’s been improving. Just got to keep working on it.”

In Light’s absence, rookie Sebastian Vollmer has impressed. While he received help, often from guard Logan Mankins, Vollmer held Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney without a sack for the first time this season. Freeney had no tackles and one quarterback hit.

“He’s good,” Light said of Vollmer. “I’ll tell you what, man, he faced one of the top guys in the league and played a hell of a game. He’s done a great job. He’s a young guy that works at it. He’s doing well.”

Not that he wants to keep observing.

“I don’t like watching anything,” Light said. “I’d rather be out there doing it. I don’t like sitting around. If you’re in the training room, it’s not good.”

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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