- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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"He's going to be back there, I have confidence in that," Kraft said Sunday at the Science of Sports Science Fair at Gillette Stadium. "I happened to see him a week and a half ago, and he looks great. We think everything should be fine there."
Welker had surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee earlier this year after suffering the injury in the Patriots' final regular season game of 2009. A timetable for his return is still unclear.
"It's hard to put a timetable on anything," Welker said over the weekend. "And plus, whenever you put a timetable on it, now people expect you. If you're not ready then, they're like, 'What's wrong?' "
Kraft also touched on one of the lingering contract-related issues facing the team, with offensive lineman Logan Mankins.
Mankins, a two-time Pro Bowler, has been staying away from voluntary workouts because of displeasure with the pace of dialogue regarding a contract extension.
"Our people are working on that," Kraft said. "I really hope Logan will be with us for the long term. That's our objective."
Mankins' agent, Frank Bauer, recently told the Boston Herald that the two sides remained "pretty far apart."
Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter. Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.
13hDoug Clawson, ESPN Stats & Information