Patriots owner Robert Kraft is cautiously optimistic that the infection in Rob Gronkowski’s left forearm has finally cleared and that Monday’s surgery (his fourth) will be the last on the big tight end's arm.
But Gronkowski also may need surgery to repair a disk in his back. Will he be ready for the start of the regular season? Kraft can’t say for certain.
“I hope we have him for the full season," Kraft said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings taking place at the Hyatt Harborside in East Boston. "I know all the fans want that, and I as an owner surely do. We think long-term he still should be great, and we’ll see.”
Gronkowski had surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital Monday to replace a metal plate in the left forearm he broke last November and again on Jan. 13. The area had become infected, and Gronkowski wasn't able to proceed with his rehab.
“I’m not a medical person, and things change day to day, but we were told it was as good a report as we could’ve hoped for," said Kraft. "That made me feel good. I’ve learned in the medical area you can’t always predict everything, but it came out positive, and he’s so positive.”
The Patriots are hopeful that the infection has been eradicated and that Gronkowski can soon begin his eight- to 10-week rehab. Kraft last saw Gronkowski Saturday, when the two were joined by 30 past and current players at a football clinic in Newtown, Conn. Gronkowski was active Saturday, running around and throwing passes with the kids, but he was not present at the Patriots offseason workout Tuesday in Foxborough.