Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Updated: February 17, 3:06 AM ET
Stephen Gostkowski (leg) 'feeling good'
By Mike Reiss
BOSTON -- New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who underwent November surgery for a torn right quad muscle, has experienced no setbacks in his rehabilitation.
"The leg is feeling good," Gostkowski said Wednesday at Boston's Children's Hospital, where he was visiting patients. "I'm feeling good and just doing what I can.
"Hopefully there will be no setbacks. I don't feel like that will be a problem."
Gostkowski is not yet fully swinging his right leg through the football. The primary focus is on strengthening his leg in rehabilitation, although he is confident that he will be ready for the start of training camp, which is usually at the end of July.
"I feel real good. From where I was -- you have surgery and you're on crutches for a couple weeks and you seem pretty down then -- but you progress every day," he said. "You have a staff of trainers and doctors that are the best in the country, and they reiterate to me that they see no problems going forward. You just have to trust them."
The 26-year-old Gostkowski, whose powerful right leg has helped the Patriots with good field position, also feels that he's addressed the mental side of his injury.
"I'm not scared to get hurt and I'm not worried about the repercussions of it," he said. "It's something that happened and I'm over with. I'm looking forward to next year and putting that in the rear-view mirror and moving forward."
Gostkowski, who enters his sixth NFL season in 2011, is currently the only kicker under contract with the Patriots next season. He compared his injury to a baseball pitcher, as "sometimes you over-use it too much and sometimes things happen."
With the NFL's uncertain labor forecast, and the possibility that players won't be working out or under the supervision of team doctors, Gostkowski has made alternate plans. His preference is to remain in New England for as long as possible, but he would return to the University of Memphis if that is not an option.
"The only thing I'm worried about is getting ready to play," he said. "All that other stuff, you just have to take what's dealt. I know I'll be ready. I'm doing what I can to get ready and get back on the field."
Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com.