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Sean Payton on Saints WR Michael Thomas: 'He's ahead of schedule'

It's going to be a while before Michael Thomas is back on the field for the New Orleans Saints, but he seems to be back in head coach Sean Payton's good graces.

Thomas, who is recovering from ankle surgery, was on the sideline for Saturday's Saints-Ravens preseason opener and looks to have reconciled with Payton, who offered an update prior to the game.

"It's good to have him back," Payton said, via ESPN’s Mike Triplett. "A lot of his rehab has been in Philadelphia with his ankle specialist. He had a recheck last week, he's ahead of schedule. He's gonna be a big part of what we do, and hopefully the sooner, the better with his recovery."

On the heels of a 2020 season in which he played in only seven regular-season games due to injuries and disciplinary issues, Thomas underwent ankle surgery in June. He's expected to miss the start of the regular season.

Payton expressed his dismay that the 2019 AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year didn't go under the knife earlier in the offseason. Thereafter, a cryptic Thomas tweet had rumors bandying about regarding his future.

It appears Thomas and Payton are now doing as well as can be as the standout wideout continues on his road to recovery.

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