As for his recovery, that is still on schedule.
Hightower hopes to get cleared for the regular season opener and possibly participate in a portion of training camp.
"Right now, I'm doing well. The doc likes everything he's seen. I just had my checkup. I'm right on track, if not better," he said. "I'm not sure what I'm going to be able to do as far as OTAs and training camp and all that other stuff goes. But I'm looking forward to being back."
Hightower's injury did force the Patriots to scan the secondary linebacker market this offseason in case of a setback. The team will still be a little light at the position heading into training camp.
But based on the timing of the injury, there's no chance anyone in New England would take it back so that Hightower could be healthy this spring.
Like he said, he'd tear a labrum any day for a Lombardi trophy.