Gronki surgery could hamper 'redo' of attack

Gronki surgery could hamper 'redo' of attack
May 8, 2013, 1:30 pm
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The Patriots will go into their full-team minicamp next month without their three most experienced pass-catchers.
For a team that’s diving into a “redo” of Tom Brady’s targets, it’s less than ideal to be without Aaron Hernandez (shoulder), Julian Edelman (ankle) and Rob Gronkowski (forearm) for minicamp and -- in the case of Gronk and Hernandez -- most likely the start of training camp.
Reports on the condition of Gronkowski’s infected and thrice-opened left arm have come at a steady clip through the offseason.
The most recent came Wednesday from The Boston Herald where Karen Guregian reported that Gronkowski cannot duck a fourth surgery, this one to remove the plate in his left forearm in the wake of a lingering infection.
The hope, Guregian reports, is that the infection is cleared, a new plate can be inserted and that will be that, the tight end’s healing process can begin and he could be back during training camp. But if this infection hasn’t cleared when Gronk’s arm is opened, the insertion of the plate and healing process gets kicked back even further.
At that point, regular-season games will be at risk for an injury suffered last November.
Edelman, meanwhile, suffered a setback while recovering from his broken right foot and is in a walking boot. His training camp doesn’t appear to be in jeopardy, but the ability to take reps and shepherd new receivers like Danny Amendola, Josh Boyce, Donald Jones and Aaron Dobson will be compromised during minicamp.
The same goes for Hernandez who had his shoulder worked on during the offseason. He’s expected to be down at the start of training camp which would rule out on-field participation in minicamp entirely.
If you want to go “glass half-full” when considering the Patriots skill position sick bay, at least Brady will get plenty of reps with the new additions.
But how the new pieces fit together with the established ones, the nuances of the routes, the little pointers that can be demonstrated at full speed by healthy players, that’s going to have to wait.
For how long? Hard to say. But at a point in the season when teams are getting injured players back, the Patriots are still waiting.