Mankins' duo teams up for good cause

BOSTON – After a season in which he endured multiple injuries, Pro Bowl offensive lineman Logan Mankins said Tuesday that he’s thrilled to have a surgery-free offseason and clean bill of health.

Unfortunately, not every member of the family has been so fortunate.

Mankins’ wife, Kara, had a protective walking boot over her right foot during the couple’s visit to the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center on Tuesday, which led to a humorous exchange with the Patriots’ captain. Asked how his wife might be listed on the team’s injury report, Mankins quipped, “I think she’s pretty tough. It’s probably probable.”

The toughness obviously runs in the family, as Mankins has a well-earned reputation as one of the NFL’s toughest players. Yet on this day, he showed more of his compassionate side during a visit in which both he and Kara wore “Celebrate Volunteerism” t-shirts as part of the Patriots’ ongoing community outreach effort.

Mankins said it was his first time at the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center, which is filled with Patriots photographs and memorabilia as it is named after Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his family.

As noted on the official Brigham & Women’s Hospital website, “The Kraft Family Blood Donor Center provides essential blood products to patients cared for in both Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). On September 17, 2012 the BWH Blood Donor Center and the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center combined to become the largest hospital-based donor program in the Northeast. Together, the BWH and DFCI patient care facilities utilize more than 60,000 transfusions annually.”

Mankins and his wife spent a few hours speaking with donors and patients.

“You meet some great people, from the patients to the donors that take their time to come here and donate the platelets that are needed,” Mankins said. “You see some of the good things people are doing.”

Now in his ninth season with the Patriots, Mankins also touched on his connection with the franchise.

“It still doesn’t seem that long, but I’m getting up there in years and I’ve been here a long time,” he said. “It feels pretty special to be somewhere this long and hopefully I can make it last a few more years and hopefully finish out my career here.”