Report: Brady expects to be ready

Last season's opener knocked Tom Brady out of football. He's hoping next season's launches his comeback.

Brady expects to be ready for the New England Patriots' first game of the 2009 season, the Boston Globe reported on Monday. He suffered a season-ending knee injury in last season's first game and has had multiple procedures and battled infection since. There was some question whether he would be ready for the opener.

Brady is on pace with his rehabilitation and is even dropping back and throwing passes, a medical source told the Globe. Citing medical and NFL sources, the newspaper reported that no further procedures are scheduled on Brady's left knee.

"Based on anybody else doing an ACL rehab, he's going right along," a source said, according to the Globe. "He had a shaky start, but he's caught up."

The newspaper reported that Brady is throwing, running, doing drills and getting in shape. The source told the Globe that Brady still has some "laxity" in his medial collateral ligament, some stiffness and has not recovered complete range of motion. None of those issues is unusual, however, considering the severity of his injury.

The Patriots are reportedly still considering using the franchise tag on quarterback Matt Cassel, who led the team to an 11-5 record last season.