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Thursday, December 23, 2010
Tom Brady back at practice

By Mike Reiss

It appears New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's health has improved, as the team is no longer listing "flu" next to his name on Thursday's practice participation report, as they did Wednesday. Brady was limited in practice -- after missing Wednesday's session -- but by his usual right shoulder and foot ailments, not the flu.

The Patriots did push back Brady's weekly news conference with reporters for a second consecutive day, but it was unknown whether the rescheduling was related to his illness. Brady is now scheduled to talk with reporters on Friday.

Athletic trainers were seen handing out bottles of hand sanitizer to players in the locker room on Thursday.

"We've been speaking about it a lot now, with the weather changing, there's going to be a lot of illness going around," wide receiver Deion Branch said. "We try to make sure we're pumping a lot of fluids in our bodies, getting the proper rest, eating the right food."

In addition to Brady, defensive linemen Myron Pryor (back) and Brandon Deaderick (shoulder) also returned to practice in a limited capacity after missing Wednesday's session.

Meanwhile, Branch (knee), guard Dan Connolly (concussion), tight end Aaron Hernandez (hip), outside linebacker Tully Banta-Cain (groin), and defensive lineman Mike Wright (concussion) remained out of practice for the second straight day.

Outside linebacker Jermaine Cunningham (calf), who was limited in Wednesday's practice, did not participate in Thursday's session.

Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for