Mularkey: Jaguars will prepare for Gronkowski

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Mularkey: Jaguars will prepare for Gronkowski

FOXBORO -- Rob Gronkowski did not play in Sunday night's loss to the San Francisco 49ers, but his return to Patriots practice late last week has many wondering if the tight end will be ready to make his return from a four-game absence on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jags' coach Mike Mularkey said on Wednesday that his team is indeed preparing for a Gronkowski return.

"Yes, yes we will," said Mularkey, when asked if he'll prepare for the Patriots' tight end.

"He's obviously a threat we've got to be aware of on all plays," added Mularkey. "We've got to be aware of everybody. I had Wes Welker in Miami with me, so I know everything about Wes, his capabilities, his toughness, and everything about the guy. That just puts more burden on us that they've got Gronkowski coming back, and we've got to prep for that, which we are going to."

Gronkowski was present during the media access portion of today's Patriots practice.

Francona misses second game this month because of health issues

Francona misses second game this month because of health issues

CLEVELAND -- Indians manager Terry Francona missed Tuesday night's game against Texas after his second trip to the hospital this month.

The Indians said doctors for now have ruled out major health issues and Francona will be monitored the next several weeks.

Francona, 58, left Monday night's game because he wasn't feeling well. He spent several hours at Cleveland Clinic and underwent a series of tests.

Francona was released from the hospital on Tuesday and spent the rest of the day at home. He was expected to return to the dugout Wednesday when the Indians host the Rangers. Cleveland lost to Texas 2-1 on Tuesday.

Bench coach Brad Mills ran the team in Francona's absence. Cleveland began the day in first place in the AL Central after rallying for a 15-9 win Monday.

"Tito actually wanted to come back to the ballpark today," team president Chris Antonetti said Tuesday. "I told him he can't come back to the ballpark today. He only got a couple hours of sleep last night, so despite his desire to want to be here, I thought it was best that he gets some rest tonight and just come back tomorrow. His plan when he was getting released from the hospital was to come over here."

"I don't think he was exceedingly happy with me," Antonetti said with a laugh. "That's OK."

Francona was hospitalized June 13 following a game at Progressive Field. He underwent tests and was released a few hours later, returning to work the following night. Last August, he missed a game after experiencing chest pains but was back the next day.

"Thankfully, we've got some great doctors that are coordinating his care," Antonetti said. "They've done every test they can possibly imagine. They've all come back clean. They're now working to try to figure out what are some of those things that are causing him to not feel so well."

Francona, a close friend of Mills for several years, has retained his sense of humor through his health issues.

A statement released by the team Tuesday read, "Mr. Francona also wanted to express that medical personnel have not yet ruled out an allergy to Bench Coach Brad Mills."