New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has no doubt he will be ready for the 2017 season.
Gronkowski was limited to only eight games in 2016 and underwent season-ending back surgery in December to repair an injury stemming from a hit he took from Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas in November but also was hampered by a hamstring injury and bruised lung.
The injuries limited Gronkowski to 25 receptions for 540 yards and three touchdowns, career lows in all three categories.
"I still love playing the game and, as of right now, I want to play as long as I can possibly play. My mindset is to keep on going," Gronkowski told ESPN.
The surgery was Gronkowski's third back operation and left him as a spectator as Tom Brady led the Patriots to the largest comeback in Super Bowl history to beat the Atlanta Falcons in overtime and win a fifth Lombardi Trophy.
Gronkowski still savoured the moment in Houston when commissioner Roger Goodell presented Brady with the trophy in the wake of his four-game Deflategate suspension to open the season.
"It was great to see him hand over that trophy, for sure," Gronkowski said of Goodell. "I was super happy for Tom."