Rob Gronkowski insists his broken left forearm is "doing all right" as he enjoys Super Bowl Week in New Orleans.
The Patriots tight end called in from NOLA to Boston sports radio station WEEI during the 11 o'clock hour today and spent the first several minutes discussing his latest injury, which he confirmed was in a different spot than the first break he suffered in November.
Gronk, you'll recall, missed five games at the end of the regular season before returning for the finale against Miami, in which he was clearly limited in what he could do with his damaged limb, and admitted as much on EEI this morning.
"I really wasn't that confident going in, using one hand," he confessed, but added, "You gotta be out there for your team."
This statement was a departure from remarks he made immediately after the Miami game, when he sidestepped questions about his readiness to return to game action. Two weeks later, in the playoff win over Houston, Gronk again suffered a break in his left forearm while diving for a catch along the Patriots' sideline early in the first quarter.
He told EEI that at first, he hoped it might just be a stinger or some temporary, minor ailment, but when the pain refused to subside, he knew he'd probably broken it again.
"Yes, definitely… right when I landed, obviously I was in huge pain and knew there was something wrong. Just wasn't sure exactly what it was."
It was interesting how Gronkowski stressed that now that the offseason is here, he has a "lot of time to heal" and that this is "no time to rush" his rehabilitation - which seemed to be another acknowledgement that he wasn't fully ready to play against Miami, even though he was asked to do so during the average time of recovery for such an injury (4-6 weeks, according to reports).
He claimed, however, that, "Going into the playoff game, I felt ready, I felt confident," yet when pressed, he responded, "I couldn't really tell you if it was healed or not."
"We gave it all we had, I gave it all I had," he noted, speaking about his team's failed run at Super Bowl XLVII.
"You live and you learn."
Gronk also lamented the fact that he and fellow tight end Aaron Hernandez were injured so much during 2012 that they hardly took the field together at all. He's focused now, he said, on getting his arm "100 percent before [training] camp starts" in late July, so that he and Hernandez can "get that chemistry going again."