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Rob Gronkowski updates rehab, tackles criticism

Posted by Shalise Manza Young, Globe Staff  March 27, 2013 11:28 AM

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Rob Gronkowski is at ESPN studios in Connecticut today, mostly because he's one of the candidates to appear on the cover of the wildly popular Madden NFL 25 video game.

But when he visited with Mike & Mike in the Morning, he was asked about his left forearm, which broke twice toward the end of last season and then got infected, which required a third surgical procedure.

He updated his rehabilitation progress, and also addressed criticism stemming from his topless wrestling at a Las Vegas nightclub last month.

"It's just unfortunate what happened, it's a rare occasion it happened like that, that it went back in and re-broke in a different spot," Gronkowski said of the second break. "You really can't do anything about it, that's the thing. Rehabbed my first one many hours every day and then go back out in the playoff game, and you catch the ball on the sideline, you land on it and it breaks again.

"It's football though - you're putting your body on the line every time you step out on that field, not just on the game field but practice field. You just gotta live with it. The only thing I can do now is rehab it, get it better, get it 100 percent and get ready for next season."

As for how he's feeling, Gronkowski said he's doing a lot better.

"Right now I'm just rehabbing, getting muscles around it stronger, get everything re-activated because it shuts down a little bit when it's healing. Just rehabbing and when trainers give me 'good to go', hopefully in the next couple of weeks, hopefully as soon as possible so I can get rolling again, get back in the weight room, get back on the field and do what I love doing, running around catching some balls," he said.

When the grainy video of Gronkowski dancing appeared on the internet, his wrist-to-elbow black cast on full display, and then body-slamming a friend on a stage in Vegas surfaced, some fans were angered that the tight end was risking another injury.

But although he appreciates the sentiment, Gronkowski said he wouldn't do anything to intentionally injure himself.

"They're my fans. They're big fans of the Patriots; they just want to see the team do well, and I totally understand where they don't want me to put myself in jeopardy of getting hurt," he said. "I would never do that, put myself in jeopardy. To the max, I love going out there every week to perform to best of my ability and I love going out there playing. I understand where they're' coming from, they just don't want to see me hurt again and that's understandable."

As for what the Patriots' reaction to his offseason so far - Bill Belichick strongly hinted at the recent NFL meetings that he was not pleased - Gronkowski was mum.

"Whatever I talk about with the Patriots, we stay confidential. Coming from myself, I've gotta watch out, who's out there, who's watching everything," he said. "Basically I just keep doing what I've been doing since Day One (as a football player), that's what got me this far and I'm going to keep grinding hard, keep hustling."

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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