Herald: Gronk's infection still a concern

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has to have the plate in his previously broken left forearm removed to ensure the infection he sustained after a January surgery has been eradicated, the Boston Herald reported Sunday.

This potentially puts his readiness for the 2013 season in jeopardy, according to the Herald's Ron Borges and Karen Guregian.

The Herald reported that Gronkowski is nearing the end of a six-week cycle of antibiotic treatments at Massachusetts General Hospital, but doctors aren’t certain that the infection is eradicated. According to the report, that is why doctors will remove the plate, which would be the fourth surgery on Gronkowski’s forearm, which was initially broken Nov. 18 in a game against the Indianapolis Colts.

If doctors are certain the infection has been eradicated, according to the report, they will install a new plate and Gronkowski should have enough time to be ready for the 2013 season (assuming there are no unexpected setbacks).

But if there is still infected tissue, doctors would have to wait until the infection is cleared before installing a plate, according to the report. If that is the case, the 10 weeks healing time required would put Gronkowski in jeopardy of not being ready for the 2013 season, the Herald reported.

At his March 27 visit to ESPN, Gronkowski said on the “Mike & Mike” show: “I’m doing a lot better, definitely. Feeling a lot better. My arm is feeling way better than it was during the playoffs and regular season when I broke it.

“Right now, just rehabbing, getting the muscle stronger around it. You want to get everything activated, re-activated, because it shuts down for a little bit when it’s healing. Just rehabbing, and when my trainers give me the ‘good to go’, hopefully in the next couple weeks, hopefully as soon as possible ... I can get rolling again and get back in the weight room and get back on the field and do what I love doing – running around and catching some balls.”