Pats' Hernandez on practice field

New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez took part in a portion of Wednesday's practice session, an indication that the 2011 Pro Bowl honoree may be nearing a return to game action.

Hernandez was expected to be sidelined between four-to-six weeks after incurring a low ankle sprain during the Patriots' 20-18 loss to Arizona on Sept. 16, and has sat out the team's last three games as a result.

The third-year standout was back practicing on a limited basis last Thursday, however, and was listed as a limited participant again on Wednesday.

Hernandez had recorded six catches for 59 yards and a touchdown prior to getting hurt. In 14 games last season, the 22-year-old recorded career highs of 79 catches for 910 yards and seven touchdowns.