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Gronkowski says knee improving

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL sustained on Dec. 8, deflected a question Tuesday about whether he will be ready for the 2014 season opener.

"Oh man, that's too far away. I'm just improving every day right now," Gronkowski said Tuesday on the "Hill-Man Show" on WAAF-FM. "I'm working hard every day to put myself in the best situation so that I'm ready."

Gronkowski had surgery on Jan. 9, with the procedure performed by Dr. James Andrews. He waited one month after the injury to undergo surgery so that his MCL, which also was torn, could heal.

The Patriots open the season Sept. 7 on the road against the Miami Dolphins.

Unlike last offseason, when he had multiple surgeries on his left forearm that included an unexpected setback, Gronkowski's knee recovery has gone according to plan.

"I'm actually improving every week. It's feeling good and coming along very well," he said on WAAF-FM as part of an appearance to promote an event for his charitable foundation.

Gronkowski added that he's joined teammates at Gillette Stadium for the voluntary offseason program, which started April 21, although his level of participation is obviously different than players who aren't rehabilitating.

Part of his greatest challenge is mental as much as it is physical.

"When it's the same thing 15 weeks straight, it starts to get tough," he said. "But you just have to stay mentally tough and stay physically strong and keep going in and keep grinding.

"It's been a while now and I'm just super excited to get this season rolling and get back out there on the field. I know it's another few more months away, so I have more time to keep on recovering and keep on getting in shape."