A knee injury has hit Tom Brady like a 350-pound lineman, but he said in his first real interview since September that his rehab is going "really well."
Speaking to The Fan 590 in Toronto on Wednesday, the New England Patriots quarterback was upbeat.
"Anyone who's come back from injuries that require surgery, it's just a process," he said. "There's some good days, some bad days, and you just got to keep plugging through them. That's life."
Brady was injured in the Patriots' first game of the season, underwent knee surgery in October and had to deal with subsequent procedures related to an infection. There have been varying reports as to his progress.
Speaking for about 10 minutes on Wednesday, Brady touched on everything from Barack Obama's inauguration to a sports cream he is promoting. Although he was forthcoming on many topics, a source told ESPN.com's Tim Graham that certain topics -- including girlfriend Gisele Bundchen -- were off limits.
Brady did not give a timetable for his return to the field but said he did miss the game and was the Patriots' "biggest cheerleader" last season.
"I'm in a new part of my career, and I'm excited about rehabilitation and different challenges," he said. "The tough part is you're not experiencing something you love to do. But you get over that and you focus on what you've got to focus on and you just say, 'OK, well, it happened. We're moving on.'"
The Patriots went 16-0 in the regular season in 2007 but lost in the Super Bowl. Without Brady, the team posted an 11-5 mark this season but missed the playoffs. There's no guarantee that Brady comes back for the start of next season. But he said he's not getting down.
"Like I said, things come up and you just got to focus your energy and attention on all the positive things that you can gain," he said. "It tests you in a lot of ways."
Brady also told Toronto sports radio station The Fan 590 that he did not think the Patriots would be hurt badly by the defections of key personnel such as offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Scott Pioli, the team's former vice president of player personnel.
"There's change every year and you have to get used to it," he said, adding that the team's ownership and head coach remain intact.
"As long as we have Robert and Jonathan Kraft and as long as we have coach [Bill] Belichick we'll be just fine," he said.
Matt Cassel, Brady's backup for the previous three seasons, played well after taking over as starter and reports have indicated that the Patriots are considering placing the franchise tag on Cassel as insurance should Brady not be ready for next season.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.