Muhammad Wilkerson says leg rehab starting ahead of schedule

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The team that defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson will be playing for in 2016 has been the subject of some debate with free agency approaching and that debate has overshadowed most discussion about when he’ll be ready to play after breaking his leg in the final game of the regular season.

Wilkerson offered an update on that front Thursday and it was a positive one.

In a Twitter message, Wilkerson wrote that he was checked out by Dr. Robert Anderson in North Carolina on Thursday and that his “leg responded great” over the last few weeks. He added that he’ll be “starting rehab ahead of schedule” and is “anxious” to get back to work.

The Jets already appeared to be on track to giving Wilkerson the franchise tag before the start of free agency, leaving open the possibility of signing him to a long-term deal at some point before July 15 or trading Wilkerson in the event they decide to move forward without him. The medical news should only make that decision easier for the Jets and will likely also come as good news to any team that might consider making a run at dealing for Wilkerson down the road.