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Tom Brady 'grateful' for appeal win but says legal saga not good for sport

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady issued a statement Friday night on his personal Facebook page, expressing his excitement over being able to play but also disappointment over the Deflategate ordeal.

"While I am pleased to be eligible to play, I am sorry our league had to endure this," Brady wrote. "I don't think it has been good for our sport -- to a large degree, we have all lost."

Brady's four-game suspension was vacated by U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman on Thursday. The NFL has appealed the decision.

While Brady received his desired result, he apologized to those the saga affected.

"I am sorry to anyone whose feelings I may have hurt as I have tried to work to resolve this situation," he said. "I love the NFL. It is a privilege to be a member of the NFL community and I will always try to do my best in representing my team and the league in a way that would make all members of this community proud.

"I look forward to the competition on the playing field and I hope the attention of NFL fans can return to where it belongs -- on the many great players and coaches who work so hard every week, and sacrifice so much, to make this game great.

"Most importantly, I look forward to representing the New England Patriots on Thursday night in our season opener. I hope to make all of our fans proud this year ... and beyond!"

In the Facebook post, Brady noted the Patriots are holding their first official practice of the regular season Saturday morning.

"I can't wait to fully commit my energy and emotion to focus on the challenges of the 2015 NFL season," he wrote, before thanking "my family, friends, all of the fans, past and current players and my teammates for the support they have given me throughout this challenging experience."

Brady also thanked Berman and his staff "for their efforts to resolve this matter over the past five weeks."

"I am very grateful," he wrote, before also thanking the legal team of the NFL Players Association, which, he noted, "fought so hard right along with me."