Rob Gronkowski’s return to the playing field remains uncertain.
It was reported by ESPN on Friday that the Pro Bowl tight end still has not been cleared to play by Dr. James Andrews. Andrews, the renowned orthopedic surgeon, has been named by the team and Gronkowski as an independent physician responsible for determining whether he is cleared to play.
A source also told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Dr. Jesse Jupiter has not cleared Gronkowski to play either. Jupiter performed the latest surgery on Gronkowski’s forearm.
According to a report Friday on WEEI, Gronkowski’s camp has “serious concern” over the way Patriots team doctor Thomas Gill handled the forearm surgery. Gronkowski initially broke the bone last Nov. 18 against the Colts, and instead of letting the bone heal naturally, he and Gill decided to speed up the healing process by implanting a device in the forearm.
Gronkowski returned to the field at the end of December, but broke the bone again in January, and had three more surgeries. According to the WEEI report, Gronkowski’s camp has concerns about the integrity of the bone where the implement was placed and the surrounding nerves, and that the infection may have been avoided if the bone had healed on its own.
The Patriots host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, who are 5-0 and have put together one of the most potent offensive attacks in the 2013 NFL season, led by quarterback Drew Brees and their own Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham.