New England Patriots running back Sony Michel played a key role for the team in his rookie year last season. In 13 regular-season games, Michel, the Patriots' first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, ran the ball 209 times for 931 yards and six scores. Michel stepped up his game in the postseason where he rushed 71 times for 336 yards and six scores. Michel was also the hero of Super Bowl LIII as he scored the lone touchdown in the Patriots’ 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams. However, Michel missed most of the Patriots’ offseason program after undergoing a knee scope.

In the past few weeks, Michel was silent about the progress of his recovery, but on Monday, he told NFL Network's Omar Ruiz that his plan is to be ready when training camp begins on July 24.

Michel wants to build from 2018 performance

“It's a process and it's just something that I'm just kind of working towards," Michel said, clarifying that his minor knee procedure was not related to the injury that sidelined him from training camp and part of the 2018 season. “Last year was last year. This is a whole new time. Anything can happen,” added Michel, who is currently undergoing rehab at the TB12 Sports Therapy Center in Foxborough. Despite his condition, Michel said he wants to build from his performance last season for the 2019 season.

“Build on what I've done. See can I raise it to another level? How much can I learn from it,” said Michel.

Michel touted as ‘key homegrown player’

In May, writer Gregg Rosenthal expressed a belief that Michel is the Patriots’ “key homegrown player” or player on their rookie contract and is expected to step up in the 2019 season.

Rosenthal also called Michel a dominant workhorse rusher that can excel behind the Patriots offensive line. The Patriots have a packed backfield, led by Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, and James Develin. The Patriots also added Damien Harris with the No. 87 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Alabama. Harris could take away some of Michel’s playing time after a strong showing during the team’s spring sessions.

Schedule of Patriots’ joint practices revealed

The Patriots are expected to have joint practices with the Tennessee Titans and Detroit Lions during training camp. Last month, the Lions revealed that they will conduct a joint training with the Patriots on August 5, 6 and 7 in Detroit. The Titans, for their part, will practice with the Patriots on August 14 and 15 in Tennessee. According to NBC Sports, the joint practices with the Lions will start at 9:30 a.m. ET, while the practices with the Titans will begin at 9:50 a.m. ET. The Patriots are expected to hold their first three training camp practices on July 25, 26, and 27 at Gillette Stadium with a firm eye on their seventh Super Bowl trophy.