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Gronkowski says back “improving a lot”

Rob Gronkowski AP

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski talked to reporters Wednesday for the first time since his back surgery in June, and while he said he was getting healthier, he stopped well short of saying he’d be ready this week.

Do I expect to play on Sunday? I’m preparing every single day to the max of my ability and preparing every day to do the best I can,” Gronkowski said, via Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com. “When my number is called, that’s when I’ll play.”

Gronkowski has been practicing since Sunday, but he didn’t say much beyond the fact that he was “improving a lot” when asked about the specifics.

But he did admit he’s not where he’d normally be, since he’s been recovering from surgeries instead of working out this offseason, which adds a conditioning element to the timetable for his return.

“Do I feel physically prepared? I mean that’s kind of an obvious answer,” he said. “I couldn’t really do what I usually do all offseason, but that’s what this time is for right now, just progressing and working hard right now to the max of my ability.”

Getting Gronkowski back this week seems unrealistic, but getting him back soon will be important for the Patriots. While quarterback Tom Brady creates a pretty high floor for their passing game, it will be hard for them to reach their ceiling without his most trusted tight end target, during a season of turnover in their wide receiving corps.

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8 Responses to “Gronkowski says back “improving a lot””
  1. rando74 says: Sep 4, 2013 2:59 PM

    He better be. Dan and Chris gonna need to borrow some money

  2. tedmurph says: Sep 4, 2013 3:00 PM

    He should at least be able to block on the extra point team. NOT.

  3. dallashomer says: Sep 4, 2013 3:04 PM

    For the sake of my fantasy football team, I hope he’s ready.

  4. jimmyt says: Sep 4, 2013 3:08 PM

    “I couldn’t really do what I usually do all offseason”

    They wouldn’t let him go the the clubs and hit the mosh pits?

  5. southpaw2k says: Sep 4, 2013 3:50 PM

    When Gronk had declared for the draft, I had really wanted the Ravens to grab him in the second round since they needed someone to replace Todd Heap. Maybe I’m crazy for thinking this, but during his career so far, has there been a week when we haven’t had news regarding some kind of nagging injury that could keep him sidelined for a period of time? I realize that he didn’t miss any games until last season, so maybe it’s an optical illusion, but I’ve come to be grateful the Ravens didn’t take him after all. Lots of talent, but such an injury risk.

  6. nolahxc says: Sep 4, 2013 3:51 PM

    I have Gronk and Jimmy in our PPR league where TE’s earn 1.25 pts per catch.

    I hope we have another year of the TE again!!

    Get healthy!!

  7. fordmandalay says: Sep 4, 2013 7:48 PM

    It’s good enough that he can now carry a girl on each shoulder, and one beer keg! Additional therapy should improve this mark.

  8. gisellichek says: Sep 5, 2013 2:07 PM

    Week two… I predict week two. I am excited to see him and Sudfeld on the field together…

    I am sooo excited football is back …

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