Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Hernandez caught passes at minicamp

New England Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez seems to be on the mend from a shoulder surgery earlier this offseason, and one of Hernandez’s biggest goals is to condition himself so that he can stay healthy. Hernandez has always had injury issues, and a severe ankle sprain in Week 2 of last season severely limited him throughout the 2012 campaign, which could have been a breakout season for the Florida Gators product.

Hernandez, who ran a few routes following the last session of media-access OTAs, was seen catching passes during the first day of Patriots minicamp yesterday. ESPN Boston’s Field Yates wrote that Hernandez was able to get some limited participate in, and it’s good to hear that Hernandez is continuing to improve on the health front.

Running routes and catching passes are the first steps for Hernandez, and he’ll definitely be all systems go for the Patriots during training camp. However, Hernandez will most likely yield significant reps to impressing undrafted rookie tight end Zach Sudfeld, who needs those reps in camp. The Patriots main concern with Hernandez is health and not practice in training camp, because it is important for Hernandez to stay healthy throughout the 2012 season with a revamped, uncertain wide receiver corps.

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