Ninkovich returns to Patriots practice

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Ninkovich returns to Patriots practice

FOXBORO -- Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich returned to practice on Thursday after suffering what appeared to be a significant hip injury in New England's win over the Dolphins on Sunday.

Tom Brady and Dont'a Hightower also were present at the media availability portion of practice after missing Wednesday's session for reasons undisclosed by the team.

The Patriots had perfect attendance during their second and final practice this week out behind Gillette Stadium in temperatures that hovered just below freezing. Players wore shells and sweats.

As was the case Wednesday, the Patriots are not required to release a practice participation report Thursday.

Insider Tom E. Curran reported earlier this week that the Patriots were cautiously optimistic Ninkovich would be able to return for the playoffs. Though Ninkovich missed Wednesday's practice, his presence on Thursday, more than a full week before the Divisional Round playoff game the Patriots will host on Jan. 13, is a good sign for New England's defense.

Royer's late goal rallies Red Bulls past Revolution, 2-1

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Royer's late goal rallies Red Bulls past Revolution, 2-1

HARRISON, N.J. - Daniel Royer finished a nice sequence in the 74th minute, Luis Robles made a diving save in the closing minutes and the New York Red Bulls rallied to beat the New England Revolution 2-1 on Saturday night.

Felipe sent the ball left to Kemar Lawrence alongside the box and he put a cross to Royer on the back post for an easy finish on his fourth goal.

Robles, who only allowed Lee Nguyen's penalty kick in the ninth minute, preserved the win with his fourth save, diving to his left to block Diego Fagundez's shot from outside the box.

Bradley Wright-Phillips tied it for New York (6-6-2), which was winless in its last four matches, when he pounced on a loose ball and backheeled it into the net. New England goalkeeper Cody Cropper had pounced on a cross by Kemar Lawance, but Cropper could hold on and Wright-Phillips was there to clean up for his sixth goal.

Damien Perrinelle fouled Fagundez in the penalty area after a great pass from Kei Kamara, allowing Nguyen to step up for his sixth goal. New England (4-5-4) had won two straight and lost just one of its previous six. It is 0-5-2 on the road.