FOXBOROUGH -- It's been a while since tight end Rob Gronkowski has been an active part of a football practice. But today, Gronkowski returned back to the field as an NFL rookie.
Gronkowski was one of 26 rookies participating in today's rookie camp in Foxborough. Gronkowski missed the 2009 Arizona season after having surgery on his back due to a herniated disc. He was drafted by the Patriots in the second round.
At the NFL Combine in February, Gronkowski described the surgery as a microdisectomy, that basically involves shaving "off the disc that's sticking out on to your spinal cord," he said.
The surgery is minimally invasive but requires nearly five months of recovery, so Gronkowski appreciated being back on the field this morning. It has been nearly two years since he last played football, but Gronkowski said he is 100 percent and any back issues are "in the past."
"It was fun," said Gronkowski of his first session. "I mean, being back on the field is great. It meant a lot. It feels great just to be out here participating and be back on a team participating with everyone. It's just a fun time out there playing football."