- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who was part of the Patriots’ “Community MVP” event at Gillette Stadium, gave a positive report on his rehab from a torn right quad that sidelined him for half of the 2010 season.
“Each week is better and better and better,” said Gostkowski, who kicks with his right leg. “It’s very encouraging and I feel very happy with where I’m at right now. I’m just going to work hard to be ready by camp.”
Gostkowski was asked if he’s limited in range and distance, in terms of what he should be doing.
“I’m kicking just as well as I would any other year, at this time of the year. I feel very good about it,” he said. "It's been a slow progression, like a pitcher playing toss, then playing long toss, then throwing off the mound. It's been a progression over the last couple months, little baby steps, and now the fear of re-injuring, and the fear of hurting myself and it hurting while I do it is completely out the window. It's just encouraging to feel better each week."
Gostkowski has never had to miss extended time over his career, stretching back to his youth days, but said he’s managed to remain positive since last November. He’s spent time this offseason rehabilitating and training at his alma mater, the University of Memphis, with Baltimore Ravens long snapper Morgan Cox.
Because Cox is rehabilitating a torn ACL, Gostkowski explained that they’ve been able to support each other.
“That’s definitely helped as far as motivating myself, not being on my own,” said Gostkowski, who enters his sixth NFL season in 2011. “It’s easy when you’re around all your teammates in an offseason workout program. But to motivate yourself on a daily basis without that, it’s a little bit tougher. Having someone in the same situation – ‘I’ve got to get back, prove myself again, I’ve got to get healthy’ – it’s been nice to have someone there to help me out.”
As for his presence Tuesday at the “Community MVP” event, Gostkowski smiled.
“It was just a true honor to be here, and to see how many people in the community of New England do such good work, and give back,” he said. “Hearing all the stories and what they’ve done, it touched me. It’s something I’d like to do when I’m done playing.”
Gostkowski’s appearance marked the first time he’s been at the stadium since the lockout.
“I’ve been here so many times in the past and it didn’t feel any different to me,” he said. “It was nice to see Mr. Kraft and a teammate in Ron [Brace]. I’ve caught up with a couple teammates the last couple of days, and just itching to get back at it. Whenever this stuff resolves, it will resolve, and we’ll be back and it will be normal again. I’m looking forward to when it happens. I’m not going to worry about anything until it does.”
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