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Rob Gronkowski Practices in Full Pads

Boston Globe (FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) --  New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski practiced in full pads Sunday for the first time since he underwent multiple surgeries on his left forearm and one surgery on his back this offseason.

Gronkowski practicing Sunday means that he continues to make progress in his rehabilitation, but tt does not appear that he will be ready to play in the team's season-opener against the Buffalo Bills on September 8.

"Gronk is obviously a big part of our team," fellow tight end Michael Hoomanawanui said. "He is a great football player. He's a great guy to be around. There are no real highs and lows with Rob; all the stuff he's gone through you would kind of think it would be human nature to see that. He's taken his punches and he always seems to stay up high. To see that, and be around, I think it lifts everyone else's spirits, too. It's something I admire about him, not only as a football player but as a person."

In the locker room after practice, Gronkowski said he will address reporters later on this week.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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