Rob Gronkowski Still on Crutches, Says Goal Is to Be Ready in Time for 2012 Season

Rob Gronkowski Still on Crutches, Says Goal Is to Be Ready in Time for 2012 SeasonWORCESTER, Mass. — Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was still on crutches Friday night, but he couldn't offer a timetable for how quickly he'll recover from the surgery on his left ankle.

Gronkowski, who had surgery two weeks ago, said he'll be ready in time for the 2012 season. However, he wasn't sure when he could ditch the cast and crutches.

"It's good," Gronkowski said of the ankle. "Obviously, it's not 100 percent. I mean, just every day just getting better. That's all you can ask for. Obviously, within a couple weeks, my goal is to be 100 percent, just keep on going day by day with it."

Gronkowski was at the DCU Center to spike a puck before the Worcester Sharks played the Providence Bruins, and the puck actually broke into four pieces, causing him to joke, "Only footballs can handle my spikes." But Gronkowski rode onto the ice on the back of a pickup truck to avoid the risk of slipping with his crutches.

The record-setting tight end has been working out his upper body in the meantime with the hope of staying in as good of shape as possible. He was also in Florida earlier this week to meet with his medical team just before he took a trip to the Red Sox' spring training facility at JetBlue Park.

The first sign of measurable progress will be in mid-April, when the Patriots can return to Gillette Stadium for offseason conditioning drills. Since they aren't mandatory, Gronkowski doesn't have to be present, but they're typically well-attended workouts. He said Friday he still wasn't sure if he could participate at that point.

"I have no clue," Gronkowski said. "That's in like two months. Just taking it day by day, obviously, and my goal is to get 100 percent and get ready for the season. Obviously, get 100 percent for the offseason, so I can do everything and so I'm ready to go, 100 percent in shape, ready for camp."

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