FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots should have at least one of their starting linebackers on the field Sunday.

Jamie Collins said Friday he believes he’ll be ready to play in Week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles after a long bout with an undisclosed illness. Collins missed four games since being placed on the Patriots’ injury report with the illness Nov. 7.

Collins was off to a breakout season before coming down with a reported “virus.” He had 4.5 sacks, 51 tackles and three forced fumbles in the Patriots’ first eight games of the season.

Fellow starting linebacker Dont’a Hightower suffered a knee injury Sunday night in the Patriots’ Week 12 loss to the Denver Broncos. Hightower has been limited in practice this week, so his status against the Eagles is up in the air.

Friday was the first time Collins was spotted in the Patriots’ locker room since coming down with the illness.

Check out what Collins had to say while speaking to the media for the first time in over a month:

Q: How are you feeling?

JC: Good.

Q: We were worried about you.

JC: Yeah, I appreciate it.

Q: What was it?

JC: I mean, I was sick. That’s all I know. I was sick.

Q: Bad stomach bug?

JC: Yeah.

Q: What were some of the symptoms you were experiencing?

JC: I was just feeling bad. I was just feeling real bad. I don’t want to talk about it, bring up memories.

Q: How difficult was it to sit out?

JC: It was hard. Nobody wants to sit out. It’s games. That’s fun. It was real hard.

Q: Were you able to regain some of the weight?

JC: Yeah, I’m doing pretty good.

Q: How good has it felt to get back on the field?

JC: It’s real good. It’s boring sitting out. Nobody wants to miss games. It feels real good to be back.

Q: What did you do to stay sharp while you were out?

JC: Obviously you take care of the little things off the field. Not just out there practicing, but whatever I have to do in the building other than be outside practicing.

Q: Are those the advantages?

JC: Obviously all of that helps in the game, all of that.

Q: How much weight did you drop?

JC: I mean, I lost a couple pounds.

Q: Just a couple?

JC: Yeah.

Q: Have you ever dealt with something like that before?

JC: No.

Q: How important is football for you?

JC: It’s very important. It’s fun. It’s just giving me something to do that I like to do. So, yeah.

Q: Do you think you’ll be ready to play this weekend?

JC: Yeah, yeah.

Q: How much would you say you started to miss the practice process?

JC: I mean, obviously a good bit. I’m just glad to be back.

Q: Appreciate it, Jamie.

JC: Appreciate it, fellas!

Thumbnail photo via Doug Kyed/NESN