FOXBORO -- The Patriots went back to work on Wednesday at Gillette Stadium during their hard-earned playoff bye week, and the news apparently is good regarding Rob Ninkovich.
The veteran linebacker and pass-rushing specialist suffered a left hip injury in Sunday's victory over the Dolphins, but tests on Monday came back indicating Ninkovich suffered only "strained muscles" in his hip and nothing more serious, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald . Howe reports that the outside linebacker has avoided a serious injury and should be able to play in the divisional round playoff game on Jan. 13 at Gillette Stadium.
Howe adds there is a good chance that Ninkovich will return to practice next week, and if he shows no significant effects, he likely will be cleared to play in the divisional round.
On Monday, Tom Curran reported that the initial signs were not overly optimistic and that the team was preparing for the possiblity that Ninkovich was done for the season after injuring the hip with just over six minutes left in the second quarter against the Dolphins. He was listed as questionable to return but did not play the rest of the game.
Ninkovich finished this season with a career-high eight sacks while recording 58 tackles and forcing five fumbles and hasn't missed a game since 2009.
For more, visit the Patriots team page at weei.com/patriots .