- Mike Rodak, ESPN Staff Writer
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski said Wednesday he is still waiting to be cleared by the team's medical staff before he can return from a broken left forearm that has kept him out of the past five games.
"When the doctors clear me, when the training staff clears me, when I'm medically ready to play and they let me play, I'm sure that's when I'll be out there," Gronkowski said.
It was the first time Gronkowski had spoken to reporters since suffering the injury late in the Patriots' win against the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 18. After returning to practice Dec. 14, he has been listed as questionable for each of the past two games and was inactive for both.
"Basically, the doctors know what they're talking about. They'll know when it's safe and sound and ready to go," he said. "I'm going to trust in them, and when they say so, I'm anxious to get out there, so obviously I want to go."
Earlier Wednesday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Gronkowski's condition is being monitored on a day-to-day basis.
"We'll see how it is," Belichick said. "He's moving along, (but he's) not ready yet. We'll take it day to day and see how it goes."
Asked whether he felt it was important for Gronkowski to get snaps in Sunday's regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins in order to prepare him for the playoffs, Belichick stated any decision on the tight end's playing time will be made strictly for medical reasons.
"I think those are decisions really that are made medically," he said. "If the players are able to play, then we play them. If they're not, then we don't. It's the same for every player, we treat them all the same. There's nothing more important than the players' health and safety, so when they're cleared to play, then we make playing decisions.
"If they're not cleared to play, then there's no decision to make. And I don't think that's a decision that a coach makes or influences; those are medical decisions if it's a medical situation. Once it's a competitive decision, then that's a coaching decision. If it's a medical decision, then it's made by medical people."
20mEric D. Williams