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Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski: ‘I’m planning on playing the whole season’

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The New England Patriots will enter a second consecutive training camp with star tight end Rob Gronkowski’s health being a topic of discussion. Gronkowski, who underwent surgery for a torn ACL, is a focal point and dominant target for quarterback Tom Brady when healthy. That’s why his availability is so crucial to the Patriots ultimately winning a super bowl. The team would love to have him available for the regular-season opener, but that will all depend on his progress and how well he has recovered from the surgery.

There is also a mental element that goes along with the physical healing when it comes to torn ACL’s or any sort of season-ending injury. Gronkowski is optimistic about his progress and addressed his status during his Football 101 Women’s Clinic on Friday night. He told reporters, “I’m planning on playing the whole season this year. I’m always antsy to get back on the field, no matter when it is. I just want to play football. I love playing the game.”

The Patriots and fans certainly hope to see a healthy Gronkowski throughout the season. After playing all 16 games in each of his first two NFL seasons, the Patriots tight end has run into a bit of bad luck when it comes to his health. An ankle injury in 2011, a broken forearm in 2012 and the ACL injury in 2013 have limited Gronkowski over the last few seasons, but he is hopeful he can be ready by Week 1 in Miami.

Even though he could possibly start camp on the active/physically unable to perform list, Gronkowski is leaving it up to the training staff and preparing himself to be as ready as he can be. He said, “I’m just working with the trainers right now, improving every singled ay and whenever it starts up, whatever the trainers have, whatever the coaches have for me, whatever we feel comfortable with [we’ll be] doing as much as possible every day that I can do.”

It is good to hear that Rob Gronkowski is focused and have set his goals on a complete, healthy season, but that will all depend on progress and luck once the season is underway. A physical specimen like Gronkowski takes many hits, especially with how much he is targeted in the Patriots offense.