Jets QB Sanchez could return before training camp

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Mark Sanchez could be back on the field for the New York Jets before training camp.

The second-year quarterback's recovery from knee surgery is on schedule, and he didn't rule out the possibility of participating in minicamp in June.

"I can't say I wouldn't want to do that," Sanchez said Thursday with a smile. "I just don't know if that is on the schedule right now. We're obviously shooting for (training) camp, so if something like that were to work out, we'd all be happy."

Sanchez had a procedure on his left knee Feb. 17 to repair the patella ligament. He has been running in a pool for the past few weeks, and hopes to be running on ground sometime around mid-May.

"Maybe a couple of weeks earlier, maybe a couple of weeks later," he said, "but everything's just the way we want it, so we're all happy."

That would put him on track to possibly practice during minicamp in mid-June. Sanchez said two weeks ago he would be ready "without a doubt" in time for training camp.

The quarterback, who helped lead the Jets to the AFC championship game as a rookie, is looking forward to working on the field with new teammates Santonio Holmes and LaDainian Tomlinson, along with the rest of the offense.

"That's probably the most frustrating part at this stage in the recovery," Sanchez said. "I see the guys out there working and I just want to be out there, but we're getting what we can done in the film room and stuff, so that's going well."

Sanchez talked to Holmes by phone after general manager Mike Tannenbaum told him the Jets acquired the wide receiver from Pittsburgh for a fifth-round draft pick Sunday night.

"I was like, 'Whoa! OK. Let me get his number and I'll call him,'" Sanchez said. "I met him on a recruiting trip at Ohio State, so he was working out by himself when the rest of the team was gone. He was just by himself, running routes and doing some drills on his own, so I know he's a hard worker. I know he knows what it takes to get to this level and play well and perform, so it's going to be a great addition for us."

Holmes, who'll join the team's offseason workout program next week, is the latest addition to a suddenly high-powered offense. Sanchez will have Holmes, Braylon Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller to throw to, along with Tomlinson and fellow running backs Shonn Greene and Leon Washington.

"That's pretty exciting for a quarterback," Sanchez said. "It's like Christmas when you've got all these guys. It's fun. He's going to be a great addition for our team and we can't wait to start working with him."

Sanchez also thinks there will be enough balls to go around for his expanded list of targets.

"You just have to go through your progression and your read and throw to the open guy," he said. "These guys understand that winning is the greatest equalizer. I don't think these are the type of guys that are going to get upset if one game, Braylon goes off for 100 yards and the next Jerricho, and the next Santonio. That's the way this thing will go, just like the running backs.

"As long as we're winning, it's going to be fine. We're not worried about it."