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Belichick refuses to talk about reported Brady injury

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick stayed true to form Thursday, refusing to discuss Tom Brady's health a few days after the quarterback was photographed limping in New York with a walking boot on his right foot.

"I don't have any comment on it. I don't have any comment on it," he said in a news conference before the Patriots held their first practice in preparation for the Feb. 3 Super Bowl against the New York Giants.

Brady did not show up during the first 15 minutes of practice, when reporters are allowed to observe, and it was not immediately known if he would play after the session was closed to the media.

When asked at the news conference earlier if Brady would practice, Belichick said: "We'll go out there. I don't know."

"The injury report will be out next Wednesday and we're excited to get that to you," he said to laughter from reporters, "filled out completely and I can't wait to get that to you because I know you're anxious for it."

Brady, this season's NFL MVP, had been dogged by photographers outside the New York City apartment of his supermodel girlfriend since the photographs surfaced Monday showing him wearing the boot and carrying a bouquet of flowers.

"I focused on the flowers," defensive end Richard Seymour said with a smile before Thursday's practice.

Brady was later seen in New York walking without a cast. He reportedly has a mild high ankle sprain.

Belichick said Brady is rarely distracted, on or off the field.

"I think Tom's one of the toughest players on our team both mentally and physically," the coach said. "He works hard ... He's very calm. He's a great competitor but he's very calm."

Several players shied away from the issue.

"You'll have to ask Tom about anything pertaining to him and his ankle," wide receiver Wes Welker said.

"That has nothing to do with me, man, next question," cornerback Ellis Hobbs said.

"I didn't see the video and I don't know anything about it," safety Rodney Harrison said.

Running back Kevin Faulk and defensive lineman Jarvis Green have both worn protective boots in the past. Green said he played in the next game after wearing the boot in college at LSU. When Faulk wore it, he didn't get nearly the attention Brady did.

"Because I'm not Tom Brady, I guess," Faulk said. "I don't know. It's just crazy. That's all."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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