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Surgery in Law's future

Agent: Cornerback still top commodity

FOXBOROUGH -- Cornerback Ty Law will have surgery on his left foot in the near future, according to his agent, Carl Poston.

"I'm not aware of the details, but Ty said he would be having surgery," said Poston from his Houston office yesterday. "I don't know if anything has changed, but that's what he's relayed to me."

Poston believes that Law, who is on injured reserve and out for the playoffs, will have the Patriots' medical staff perform the surgery. Law broke his foot in the first quarter of a 34-20 loss to the Steelers Oct. 31 at Heinz Field.

"Ty wanted to play but the doctors felt he needed surgery," Poston said.

Poston said he has not discussed a new contract with the Patriots, but suspects the team would want Law to return at far less than the nearly $10 million he's due next season -- the final year of his contract. Poston doesn't believe Law's injury will affect the market for him.

"He's one of the best corners in the league," Poston said. "I think everyone knows that. The fact he's had an injury and missed some time doesn't mean he's any less the player he was. Ty has fought very hard to get back and be out there with his teammates."

Coach Bill Belichick, asked Tuesday if Law would be around this week to assist in preparing for the Colts, said Law was spending time at his home outside of Pittsburgh.

The Patriots, meanwhile, will continue to play with their makeshift secondary, utilizing safety Eugene Wilson at times at corner to go along with Asante Samuel, Randall Gay, and Earthwind Moreland. Wilson and Rodney Harrison will be joined at safety by linebacker Don Davis in some situations and perhaps rookie Dexter Reid.

Wilson emphasized yesterday the importance of being physical with the Colts' receivers.

"We've got to play our best, period," Wilson said. "We're going to get the game plan and execute it to the best of our ability. That's what we try to do every week. It's going to be a very challenging game, just like all of them are."

Samuel and Gay have missed games because of injuries (Samuel three, Gay one). And Belichick believes the time missed has set both players back a tad.

"They both missed a little short stretch of games there," Belichick said. "That is never good for consistency. Other than that, they've been out there quite a bit. With the playing time and the experience, they have definitely improved as you would expect they would. The more that those guys are together then the better off we are, and the more things we can do."

Healthy report
The Patriots' injury list, released yesterday, was shorter than usual. In fact, quarterback Tom Brady was absent for the first time since last season. He had been on the list as probable with a bruised right shoulder. Remaining on the list were running back Kevin Faulk (questionable, knee), linebacker Matt Chatham (questionable, hamstring), linebacker Eric Alexander (questionable, ankle), who walked through the locker room with a removable cast on his leg, and defensive lineman Richard Seymour (questionable, left knee) . . . The Patriots kept the Gillette Stadium surface uncovered through yesterday's steady rain. The team is likely attempting to encourage field conditions that could slow the Colts' receivers and their fast defense. The Patriots practiced indoors, and Belichick ducked questions about injuries and the field. "I am not a doctor, I am not a groundskeeper," he said. "We'll be out there on Sunday. I'm sure the field will be the same condition for both teams, whatever it is. I told you, my job is not to pull weeds. I have a lot of other things to do." . . . Yarde Metals of Southington, Conn., is planning to promote a beer boycott at Sunday's game. The firm had its season tickets revoked by the team when a male with a Yarde ticket used a women's restroom at Gillette in October 2002 because of a long line in the men's room. Yarde, a 20-year season ticket-holder, had its tickets revoked and the courts backed the Patriots. Signs will be held at exit ramps near the stadium and the company also has hired a banner plane to fly over the stadium before the game . . . Bulletin-board item: The Colts' online pro shop had AFC Championship sweatshirts displayed for a while yesterday afternoon, though the merchandise only would be delivered if the Colts reached the Super Bowl . . . The NFL Network is broadcasting a one-hour Game of the Week version of the Patriots-Steelers game from Week 8 today at 3 p.m. Tomorrow at the same hour, the network is showing last season's Colts-Patriots AFC Championship game.

Bill Griffith of the Globe staff contributed to this report. 

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