Just three days away from the Super Bowl, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says his injured throwing hand is not totally healed.
"I don't think I'm quite where I want to be, but hopefully I can get there in a few days," he said. "Just trying to really stay with my routine, not really deviate from what I normally do."
At the Thursday media session in Minneapolis, Brady spoke about the hand injury he incurred at practice before the Jan. 28 AFC Championship game. The injured hand required a reported 12 stitches, which were removed last week.
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While he recovers from his injury, Brady is glad to have heard that tight end Rob Gronkowski cleared concussion protocol and will play in the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Brady was asked about his trust in Gronkowski on the field.
"As high as it could ever be with any player," Brady said. "I've played with him a long time and thrown him a lot of footballs. He knows exactly what to do, where to expect the ball, when to expect it, and he's just a tremendous player for our team."
Brady says he's quite comfortable Super Bowl week, including dealing with all the potential distractions.
"I love everything about Super Bowl week. It's all great. You put things in perspective, you could be doing a lot of other things, there's nothing as good as what we're doing here," he said. "This is what we work for. This is what everyone's goal is at the beginning of the year, you're working on this week. I don't think there's anything I dislike about this week."
Since this is Brady's eighth Super Bowl, he says his routine is pretty solid in the final days before the game.
"It's a lot of preparation, I don't think you ever take your foot off the gas pedal," Brady said. "The physical preparation goes down a little bit and I think the mental preparation goes up and I think you find the place where you need to be mentally, emotionally, physically, so that you can be at your peak when the game kicks off."
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick also spoke Thursday afternoon from Minneapolis about how the team is preparing for its big game against the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend.
He fielded questions about situational football and scouting, and his team's resiliency and ability to comeback from seemingly insurmountable deficits. He was also asked to compare Tom Brady to soccer superstars Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi.
"There's no quarterback I'd rather have playing for my team than Tom Brady," Belichick said. "Glad to have him."
He was also asked about Gronkowski's concussion, but had little to say.
"Good to have everybody back," he said. "Those things are really out of our control. However it goes, it goes. Hopefully it goes well."
He said the Patriots face a "difficult challenge" against the Eagles on Sunday.
Super Bowl LII between the Patriots and Eagles kicks off on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 6:30 p.m.