Long time coming: Jets QB Sanchez no longer limited by knee injury

NEW YORK -- Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, who's recovering from knee surgery, was a full participant in practice Tuesday for the first time this offseason.

Sanchez had the patella-stabilizing ligament in his left knee repaired in February. The team confirmed Tuesday night that the second-year pro fully participated in 11-on-11 drills after being limited to individual and passing drills since workouts began several weeks ago.

Sanchez had only been involved in one 11-on-11 drill -- a handoff that was unplanned two weeks ago -- as a result of the Jets being cautious and not wanting to rush him back.

Sanchez had hoped to be able to practice without restrictions during minicamp next week. It appears he has progressed to the point that he'll be a full-go moving forward.

ESPNNewYork.com first reported that Sanchez fully participated in practice Tuesday.

"If things keep going the way they are, if they progress the way they are now, I'm confident I'll be ready to go," Sanchez said last week of the three-day minicamp. "It's ultimately going to be up to the training staff and Rex (Ryan). I feel good about it. I'm confident."

Team doctors have told Sanchez he's coming along faster than most who have had the same procedure. Sanchez said the most unsettling part of the rehabilitation process was dealing with the scar tissue popping in the weeks following the surgery.

"Every day, it's feeling better, and that's been key," Sanchez said.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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