Good report on Gostkowski
Patriots kicker says he’ll be ready
He’s only three months removed from having his torn right quadriceps surgically repaired, but Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski said yesterday he believes he’ll be ready for the start of next season.
“I feel real good,’’ Gostkowski said during a visit to Children’s Hospital Boston. “From where I was, having surgery and on crutches for a couple weeks, you’re pretty down then, but you progress every day. [Doctors and trainers] reiterate to me that they see no problems moving forward, and you just have to trust them.’’
This is a tricky injury for a kicker, but Gostkowski’s age (27) would certainly favor him making a full recovery. Gostkowski, who was injured during the Nov. 7 loss to the Browns, wouldn’t say what the tentative timetable is for him to be cleared for kicking.
“It’s up in the air,’’ he said. “It’s kind of a give-and-take type thing. You see what you can do one day and you don’t want to start too fast.
“There’s no point in me going out there and kicking a 50-yard field goal right now. So it’s just trying to get it as strong as I can. I take steps and that’s part of rehab and part of getting over an injury.’’
As to whether he would be ready for the start of a training camp in late July — assuming there is not an NFL work stoppage — Gostkowski said, “I’d like to think so, but that’s for [doctors] to decide. What I feel might not be what they think is best. But I’m confident I’m not going to have too much of a problem.’’
It wouldn’t be a shock to see the Patriots bring back Shayne Graham — or another kicker — as insurance to make sure Gostkowski isn’t rushed back, or that his initial workload isn’t counterproductive. Graham is set to become a free agent.
When he does return, Gostkowski said he’ll be in the right mind-set.
“I’m not scared to get hurt and I’m not worried about the repercussions of it,’’ he said. “It’s something that happened and I’m looking forward to next year.’’
Gostkowski could have to deal with one of the many possible effects of a lockout by owners. If teams shut the door on players March 4, that includes the training room. They will no longer be under the supervision of the club and must continue rehab elsewhere.
Gostkowski said he’ll likely head to his alma mater, the University of Memphis, if the players are locked out.
“I’ve got plans for whatever happens,’’ he said. “My plan is to stay up here as long as I can, and if something does happen, I have opportunities in Tennessee at my college and with people that I know down there.’’
Gostkowski was a guest on the hospital’s in-house “Midweek Morning Show,’’ which is broadcast to all patient rooms, and signed autographs and posed for pictures. Gostkowski then donned scrubs and a surgical mask on room-to-room visits in the oncology department.
“I got the opportunity to come up here and I didn’t hesitate to do it,’’ said Gostkowski, who has a 14-month-old son, Slayden, with wife Hallie. “Any time I can come up to a hospital with kids involved and brighten their day, I’m up for it any day of the week. It’s something I’m passionate about.
“Just to have this jersey on and to put a couple smiles on kids’ faces that haven’t smiled in a while is very rewarding and brings meaning to what you can do with your status as an athlete in this area.’’