According to WEEI in Boston, the Patriots expected tight end Rob Gronkowski to be ready to play by week three of this season.
The reason we’re all still waiting for Gronk to play is because his family is very concerned with the surgery that Patriots team doctor Tom Gill performed on Gronkowski’s forearm,
While it is common practice for team doctors to perform on their own athletes, the Gronkowski family became concerned after repeated surgeries to treat infections in the area of an implement, or device, that was placed in the forearm to expedite the healing process.
WEEI.com has learned from multiple sources with direct knowledge of the surgery that the arm, injured initially on Nov. 18, 2012, against the Colts, might have healed properly on its own with no surgery necessary. But the team and Gronkowski, looking to hasten his return to the field, decided upon surgery to use an implement in hopes he would be ready for the playoffs.
Gronkowski returned in the 2012 season finale and caught a touchdown pass, but re-injured the arm two weeks later against Houston and was unavailable against Baltimore in the AFC championship.
One source with direct knowledge of the initial forearm surgery told WEEI.com Thursday night that there is “serious concern” about the integrity of the bone where the implement was placed and the surrounding nerves. The source indicated that if the bone had healed on its own without an implement, there would have been no infection. However, there now are concerns that an abscess developed, causing infection and seriously weakening the bone. This prompted three more surgeries in the offseason on the forearm, separate from the procedure on his back.
Gronkowski’s family and representatives were made aware of the issues in the arm and advised the tight end to hold off on returning to action until it could be determined that the bone in his right arm had fully healed.
It will be interesting to see if Gronk can get through this season without re-injuring his forearm.