Rob Gronkowski

Having such a talented tight end in Rob Gronkowski comes in handy only if he’s healthy, and if some rumors are to be true, the New England Patriots will once again have to play without their most talented receiver, who might not be ready for the opening game of the 2013 NFL season due to some complications with his injured hand.

This time, it’s not about Gronkowski doing anything un-related to football that might illicit some angry response from his team. He simply has an infection that might delay his return to training and obviously an actual game of football by a few months, after already missing five regular games and the postseason for the Pats in 2012 and 2013.

He had a metal plate installed in his left forearm, but an infection in the area means doctors will have to open up his arm and install a new plate. So far so good, but that all depends on if he has infected tissue around the area or not. If there still is a raging infection inside his arm, a new plate will not be installed, instead sending Gronkowski to another surgery after the tissue around the injury is clear of infection to install another metal plate, not giving him enough time to get ready for the new season in September.

Gronkowski broke out with a monster 2011 season, catching for 1327 yards and an NFL best 17 touchdowns. Last season he was quite productive despite the missed game, catching 55 passes for 790 yards and 11 touchdowns, hiding the fact that the Patriots don’t really have a formidable wide receiver. Another injury without the kind of signings people thinks the Pats should make at the WR position might no longer help them conceal the lack of viable targets Tom Brady has in front of him.

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