Veteran tight end Alge Crumpler, who played in all 16 regular-season games and provided a strong blocking presence to the Patriots offense, is recovering from shoulder surgery, his agent James "Butch" Williams confirmed.
Williams said Crumpler, who enters his 11th NFL season in 2011, is planning to play next season.
"He's working hard at this particular point. Time will tell," said Williams, when asked if the surgery could make it difficult for Crumpler to return.
The surgery, first reported by the Boston Globe, was done in late January. Williams believed Crumpler played through the injury at some point during the season.
"He played tough with it," Williams said. "He's looking forward to playing [in 2011]."
Crumpler is scheduled to earn $2.4 million next season. With players currently locked out, Crumpler is not allowed to rehab under the team's supervision.
The Patriots also have second-year players Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez returning at tight end.