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BOSTON (CBS) – Rob Gronkowski has taken steps toward his return from a broken forearm, but still has one big hurdle remaining.
The injured tight end has been practicing with the teams since December 14, and even spoke to reporters on Wednesday for the first time since suffering the injury in Week 11 — a sure sign that a Bill Belichick player is getting healthy.
But Gronkowski has yet to complete the most important step out, which is receive medical clearance from the Patriots medical staff.
“When the doctors clear me, when the training staff clears me, when I’m medically ready to play and they let me play, I’m sure that’s when I’ll be out there,” Gronkowski told reporters on Wednesday.
“Basically, the doctors know what they’re talking about. They’ll know when it’s safe and sound and ready to go,” he continued. “I’m going to trust in them, and when they say so, I’m anxious to get out there. Obviously, I want to go.”
Gronkowski was one of 21 Patriots limited at the team’s Wednesday walkthrough as they prepare for their regular season finale against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Before the Patriots took the field, head coach Bill Belichick said Gronkowski was improving but still not ready to return yet.
“He’s moving along, not ready yet,” Belichick said. “We’ll take it day-to-day and see how it goes.”
Gronkowski has missed the last five games with the injury, and as to be expected from a 23-year-old that loves the game as much as he does, is getting very anxious to get back out there with his teammates.
“When you miss a few games, you’re definitely anxious to get back,” he said. “You never want to miss games; I love being out there, love playing the game and I love to be out there with my teammates. I’m definitely anxious to get out there.”
Tune in to Patriots-Dolphins Sunday afternoon at 4:25pm on 98.5 The Sports Hub and WBZ-TV. Pregame coverage begins on the Hub at 1pm with Patriots Preview, with three hours of post game coverage following the game. WBZ-TV’s coverage kicks off at 11:30am with Patriots GameDay, with Patriots 5th Quarter after the game on myTV38.