Gronkowski on recovery, spotlight

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is making the rounds at ESPN today as part of a promotional appearance with the Madden cover vote.

Gronkowski, who is sporting a goatee, provided an update on his recovery from three different surgeries on his forearm, the last one for an infection.

“I’m doing a lot better, definitely. Feeling a lot better. My arm is feeling way better than it was during the playoffs and regular season when I broke it,” Gronkowski said on the Mike & Mike program on ESPN Radio (listen to Gronkowski's appearance here).

“Right now, just rehabbing, getting the muscle stronger around it. You want to get everything activated, re-activated, because it shuts down for a little bit when it’s healing. Just rehabbing, and when my trainers give me the ‘good to go’, hopefully in the next couple weeks, hopefully as soon as possible ... I can get rolling again and get back in the weight room and get back on the field and do what I love doing – running around and catching some balls.”

Gronkowski also talked about life in the public spotlight. On the television broadcast of Mike & Mike, video of Gronkowski at a Las Vegas nightclub, shot by TMZ, was shown.

Gronkowski was asked what it was like having that type of attention on him at all times.

“It’s a little different,” he answered. “Growing up, just doing whatever you want and no one looking at you and no one really caring, and now you go out … I was in the airport on the way here and everyone has their camera out videoing me walking through the airport. It’s weird at first, but you just can’t let it get to your head at all, affect you at all and just keep doing what you’ve been doing since Day 1, which I have been.”

Gronkowski was then asked if he feels criticism of him for his off-field activities, specifically performing a wrestling move at the Las Vegas club, was warranted.

“They’re my fans. They’re looking out for … they’re big fans of the Patriots and they just want to see the team do well. I totally understand where the fans are coming [from], where they don’t want myself to put myself in jeopardy of getting hurt. I totally understand that. I would never do that, put myself in jeopardy," Gronkowski answered.

"To the max, I love going out there every week and performing to the best of my ability, and I love going out there playing. I understand where they are coming from. They just don’t want to see me hurt again. That’s totally understandable.”

As for the goatee, Gronkowski said, “It takes a while for me to grow in some hair. I just looked in the mirror one day, forgot to shave for a little bit, and it looked kind of good so I kept it for a little bit.”