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Injury update: Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower expected back “this week or next”

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New England's defensive captain will not be held out long because of his knee injury.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots have suffered considerable injuries over the last few weeks. While not all of them are long-term issues, they still put pressure on the team's depth across the board. One of those shorter-term injuries was suffered by linebacker Dont'a Hightower in the season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Hightower injured his knee in the third quarter of the game and was subsequently forced to sit out yesterday's game. Initial reports about the injury were positive but the defensive team captain reportedly nevertheless sought a second opinion by one of the leading specialists when it comes to ligament damages, Dr. James Andrews.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, though, it appears as if Andrews' opinion does not differ from the original diagnosis:

#Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower’s MCL injury was diagnosed as the 2-3 week variety by 2 different doc opinions. Back ether this week or next.

This latest report confirms the initial one that classified Hightower's injury as a minor MCL sprain. After a positive report about tight end Rob Gronkowski's groin issue, this is another positive development on New England's ever growing injury front. And even if Hightower ultimately misses one or two additional weeks, his long-term availability does not appear to be in danger.