With training camp just about three weeks away, the news on one of the Patriots' offseason question marks remains good . . . apparently.
In a pre-camp, position-by-position breakdown of the team, the Patriots' official Web site says Rob Gronkowski should be ready to play in the season opener. "At this point all signs point toward Gronk being ready to go in Week 1 . . . " writes Paul Perillo in an examination of the team's tight ends. Gronk suffered a torn ACL and MCL last Dec. 8 against the Browns, and a nine-month recovery, while not unheard of, would still be faster than the normal 10- to 12-month recuperation period required for such an injury.
The question, of course, is how effective Gronkowski will be when he returns . . . and, more tellingly, whether he can stay healthy for an entire season. Gronkowski's production is devastating when he's on the field, but he hasn't played a full year since 2011. And that question won't -- can't -- be answered until he resumes playing.
At least, however, it looks as if he'll resume playing sooner rather than later.