(Reuters) - The defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots got some good news ahead of their playoff opener next week as quarterback Tom Brady said on Wednesday his sprained ankle is feeling better.
Brady was injured during the Patriots’ regular season finale on Sunday when Miami’s Ndamukong Suh rolled into his legs and he was limping after the game but the four-time Super Bowl champion insists his ankle has made progress.
“Feeling better. Better than I was a couple days ago,” Brady, 38, said during a news conference.
“Mentally, I’m ready to go. Physically, you always want to feel your best and I think you’ve just got to work as hard as you can at doing the right things to get to that point, so that’s where I feel like I’m at.”
The Patriots, who lost a second consecutive game to end the regular season, will host a divisional-round playoff game on Jan. 16 against either the Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans or Kansas City Chiefs.
Brady, whose team clinched a first-round playoff bye, said his Patriots are taking full advantage of some added time off having not had a bye week in their schedule since early October.
“A lot of guys have been fighting through different kinds of bumps and bruises over the course of the season, so you try and take advantage of that as best you can to feel good because we’re going to need everybody a week from Saturday to be at their very best,” said Brady.
“It’s just a lot of time obviously preparing. There are a lot of different scenarios so you try to do your best mentally to get ready and physically you’ve just got to put as much effort in as you can to make yourself feel better.”
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes