Another Welker surgery knifes Pats

Wes Welker can't run or catch.

WelkerWelkerThe NFL's leading receiver over the past two years has been rehabilitating a reconstructed left knee. Now he's recovering from serious shoulder surgery.

ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss, citing an unnamed league source, confirmed Welker recently underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. The news first surfaced on the Web site of blogger Seth Davis.

The source told Reiss that Welker's knee remains paramount to getting back on the field, but the shoulder surgery will make the return of Tom Brady's favorite target that much more difficult.

ESPN injury expert Stephania Bell has forecast October as the likely timetable for Welker becoming effective enough to play on the reattached knee again.

The Patriots entered trade talks with the Arizona Cardinals last week to obtain receiver Anquan Boldin. It was a surprising development at the time, but this could be a reason why.

Welker's replacement, sophomore Julian Edelman, will have a glorious opportunity to make his mark as the Patriots' slot receiver. The converted quarterback from Kent State endured some growing pains last year, but still caught 37 passes for 359 yards and a touchdown. He certainly will benefit from a full offseason, training camp and preseason with a healthy Brady.