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Pats tight end Gronkowski sheds boot, but makes no guarantees

February 1, 2012

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— The boot is off and Rob Gronkowski’s ankle is feeling much better.

New England’s All-Pro tight end got rid of his walking boot in time for media day Tuesday, and sounded optimistic he’d be lining up against the New York Giants in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

“I’m improving every day,” Gronkowski said. “The only reason it’s getting so blown up is because it’s the Super Bowl. It’s just like any other injury during any other week.”

Gronkowski, who suffered a high left ankle sprain in the AFC title game Jan. 22, said he could be anywhere from in perfect health to “2 percent” for the game, adding that it’s still six days away.

The outgoing Gronkowski smiled frequently from the podium during his hour-long appearance that opened with a question, of course, about how he was feeling.

“Good. How are you feeling?” he replied.

At one point, Gronkowski even put on a red tri-cornered hat, reminiscent of those worn by the original patriots during the era of the American Revolution.

“He’s obviously making progress,” quarterback Tom Brady said of his key pass-catcher. “He’s out of his boot today, which makes me feel a lot better. I told him he should write like ‘Mom I love you’ on his sock or something because I’m sure there’ll be a lot of pictures of his sock. If anybody wants to be out there, it’s him. No one’s as tough as him.”

Gronkowski was careful not to convey an overly optimistic attitude about his chances of playing, repeatedly saying he was working with the Patriots training staff and approaching the situation on a day-to-day basis.

He also was non-committal when asked if he could play if he had the injury during the regular season.

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