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Leigh Bodden said he is eager to return for 2011 season

Posted by Monique Walker, Globe Staff  February 4, 2011 05:31 PM

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DALLAS -- Patriots cornerback Leigh Bodden said his shoulder is feeling great and he is hoping for a strong return next season.

Bodden is in Dallas this week enjoying the Super Bowl festivities and took some time out to meet with members of the Boston media moments ago. Bodden said he is in town visiting a friend and also taking in the atmosphere.

Bodden missed the 2010 season after having surgery on his shoulder and was placed on injured reserve. Sitting out this season has Bodden even more excited about next season.

"I'm going to be good, it's my shoulder," Bodden said. "I'm rehabbing it good. I'm lifting on it. It's been five months so, I have the most confidence in the world that I'm going to have my best season next year."

The injury occurred on the second play of a preseason game against the St. Louis Rams, Bodden said. While trying to make a tackle, Bodden said a tight end blocked him and he reached out with his left arm and fell on it while it was extended. He said he felt a twinge but decided to play through it and may have done more harm than good.

"... I figured in my head, I'll just wear a sling after the first Cinncinatti Bengals game and it will get better but I think probably playing in the whole game and trying to do things that I really couldn't do, probably made it worse," Bodden said.

In the months since the surgery, Bodden said he is lifting more weight and feeling his shoulder getting stronger. The biggest struggle he said was regaining a range of motion.

"I tell you what, if I was playing in the Super Bowl and I had to play, I would play," Bodden said.

As for his fellow cornerbacks, Bodden said he was pleased with how his teammates progressed during the season.

"The confidence I saw them get every week was great,"Bodden said. "I think they played well, all of them."

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

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