Danny Amendola 'closer' to return

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola, who has missed the last two games with a groin injury, envisions returning to the same level he played at prior to his injury.

"I anticipate being 100 percent shortly," Amendola said Wednesday. "I don't know when, but I'm getting closer."

Amendola, who was speaking to reporters publicly for the first time since New England's season opener Sept. 8, smiled when asked if he can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

"There's a light," he said. "I can see it."

Amendola has been limited in practice the past two weeks but appeared to be moving better Wednesday in the limited time that reporters were present.

Asked if he might play Sunday night against the Atlanta Falcons, Amendola said he's "just going day by day" and that there is no timetable for his return.

"I'm feeling a lot better, getting a lot of good treatment and running around," he added, deflecting a question about his level of participation during the practice time that's closed to the media. "I'm doing what I can, helping where I can and learning where I can. It's a process."

Part of the process, according to Amendola, was ruling out surgery for a sports hernia.

"I got a lot of opinions from different guys," he said. "Whatever got me on the field fastest and in good health and good standing, and where I can do what I can do, that's the path we're on now."

Amendola added that he has attempted to stay upbeat while dealing with the injury.

"Some things are out of a player's control, [so] just stay positive and try to get out on the field as quickly as you can," he said.