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Mohamed Sanu 'way ahead' of curve in return from ankle surgery

The New England Patriots traded a second-round pick for receiver Mohamed Sanu last season. The return on investment in eight games wasn't great.

Sanu compiled 26 catches on 47 targets for 207 yards and one TD with Tom Brady last season. Ten of those catches, 81 yards and the lone score came in his first game with the Patriots. After that, Sanu was saddled with an high ankle sprain that hindered his play and resulted in offseason surgery.

Sanu's trainer, Hilton Alexander, said the recovery from surgery is going well for the 30-year-old wideout.

"I would tell you he's probably faster, quicker, leaner and in better shape now than prior to the surgery," Alexander told ESPN's Mike Reiss. "I would say he's way ahead of any doctor's knowledge or prediction where he would have been at this point. Way ahead of the curve."

Alexander noted that last week Sanu began cutting, running hills and doing full-speed explosive drills.

The Patriots are counting on a bounce-back year from Sanu after eschewing the receiver position in the 2020 draft and adding only bit-parts in free agency. A healthy Sanu would go a long way for a New England offense that will look vastly different for the first time in decades sans Brady.

"I think he knows he was a shell of himself toward the end of the season. He wasn't in the position where he could do the best he could and be able to offer that Mohamed Sanu that everybody has grown to love all those years in Cinci and Atlanta," Alexander said. "I know the fans didn't get a chance to see 100 percent Mohamed Sanu. I promise you, that is a huge chip on his shoulder now."

The Patriots will head into the 2020 season with Julian Edelman, N'Keal Harry and Sanu atop their receiver depth chart. It can be a solid trio if Sanu returns fully healthy and Harry makes strides in his second season.

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