Report: Gronkowski expected to play

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is expected to play in Super Bowl XLVI against the Giants next Sunday, despite a lingering high ankle sprain, NBC Sports reported, citing sources.

The All-Pro did not practice last week and likely will not practice at all before the game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Should he play, the sources said he is expected to be limited because of the swelling and structural damage to the ligaments.

It is believed Gronkowski will undergo arthroscopic surgery on the left ankle after the game.

The status of the 6-6, 265-pound monster has been a hot topic since he suffered the injury in the third quarter of last Sunday’s AFC title-game win over the Ravens.

Gronkowski, who set an NFL record for tight ends with 17 touchdown catches during the regular season, returned to the game about five minutes later but was spotted wearing a walking boot Monday.

He was again seen wearing the boot Sunday when the Patriots landed in Indianapolis, reported.