The Patriots got a jolt on Tuesday when starting MLB Brandon Spikes returned to team drills after completing his rehab from offseason knee surgery.

Leave it to the mercurial Spikes to take a different approach to speaking to the media about his return. Spikes kept his helmet on -- complete with a dark sun shield -- the entire time.

Still, he was happy to be back.

“Oh, absolutely,” Spikes said. “Definitely. It’s kind of frustrating watching from the sideline. Just to get out, run around, get a little contact, it feels good. I’m just working to get out there full time, so like I say, whatever they ask me to do, I try to do it at 100 percent. I’m just working to get better. I can’t put a percentage on it, like I said, it’s day-by-day and step by step.”

Spikes likes what he has seen from defensive rookies Dont'a HightowerChandler Jones, Jake Bequette and Tavon Wilson.

“They’re just relentless to the ball -- you can tell they’re hard workers and they play hard and that’s one thing I respect, a passionate player,” Spikes said. “As long as they can keep getting better throughout the camp, that’s fine with me.”

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