Brady acknowledges injury, says he'll play in Super Bowl XLII

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Relax, Patriots fans. A smiling Tom Brady says not to worry about his much publicized and photographed
ankle. It won't keep him out of Sunday's Super Bowl.

New England's star quarterback walked up the three short steps to the podium with ease Sunday night, showing no signs of the right ankle injury that had become such a hot topic since he was spotted wearing a protective boot last Monday.

"It's feeling good. I'll be ready to go," Brady said with a
smile as the AFC champions met the media for the first time shortly
after arriving in Phoenix.

It was also the first time Brady acknowledged he was injured in the
AFC Championship Game.

"It was in the San Diego game, I think in the third quarter,"
Brady said, referring the Patriots' 21-12 victory last Sunday.

Since then, Brady hasn't practiced, but said he moved a little
bit during the week and "shuffled around."

"I'm not concerned about how it's going to affect my play," he
said. "This won't keep me out."

The face of New England's franchise reportedly has a minor high
ankle sprain. He wore a protective boot on his right foot last
Monday in New York while visiting supermodel girlfriend Gisele
Bundchen, causing a major stir and concern among Patriots fans.

"I was just trying to get into the house as fast as I could,"
Brady said. "I was trying to hobble along. It kind of caught me
off guard."

New England will try to become the first team in NFL history to
finish 19-0 when it plays the New York Giants in the Super Bowl
next Sunday.

After returning to Foxborough on Wednesday, Brady wasn't spotted
by the media the next two days while reporters were allowed into
the locker room and at practice.

"I was glad to be back in New England and in the insulated
atmosphere of our locker room," he said.

It sure wasn't safe on the streets of New York for Brady.

"Yeah, it's been an interesting week," he said. "I'm much
lighter on my toes than I thought."

Brady also issued a playful warning: "Don't any of you chase me
around. I won't be nearly as nice as I was last week."

That was when he was followed by paparazzi as he exited a taxi
in New York, with a handful of flowers for his girlfriend. Later
that day and on Tuesday, he wasn't wearing the boot when

"It's just part of the world we're living in," he said.
"Those places I went for refuge, I guess I can't go anymore. If we
were 0-16, nobody would [care]."

Coach Bill Belichick, who spoke before Brady, wouldn't address
the injury or Brady's status.

"We'll update our injury report on Wednesday," Belichick said
with a smirk. "And, I look forward to it, too."

When Brady was asked, he grinned and said, "How's the ankle?
What did Coach say?"

The reporter responded with: "He said ask you."

Brady laughed and shook his head.

"Did he?" he said. "Wow, that's different."

Brady, who stood at the podium in a navy, pinstriped suit, with
a navy vest and his white shirt open at the collar, smiled
throughout the news conference and was in a playful mood. When
asked about the ankle once again, he interrupted the reporter and
said, "Last question of the week."

He then went through the details one more time and closed with,
"Good? That work?"

Earlier Sunday, Brady appeared in front of reporters and
photographers in Foxborough for the first time since the game
against the Chargers. At a departure rally shortly before the team
buses left for their trip to Phoenix, he walked without slipping on
a light dusting of snow on the Gillette Stadium field as flurries

"Now this is Foxborough faithful right here," Brady told the
cheering crowd of about 15,000 after he reached the podium at
midfield along the Patriots sideline. "We can just go ahead and
play the game today. Thank you guys for coming out."