One troubling aspect – after a similar injury and surgery in college, Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski was not fully healed to participate at the NFL Combine, which occurred at the end of February, five months after his surgery.
Finally, on March 27, Gronk and his brother, Chris, held their own Pro Day on Arizona’s campus.
The Patriots’ first game of the regular season is Sept. 8, two days less than 12 full weeks out of surgery. While it is possible that Gronk could return for Week 1, the likeliest and most prudent course of action appears to be keeping him on PUP to start the season and having him miss the first six games, especially considering the four forearm surgeries he has also endured over the past year.
Gronkowski had surgery on June 19, so a five-month recovery would put his return on or around November 19 (Week 12). A six-month recovery -- which is how long it took him to return after the first surgery -- would have him back around December 19 (Week 16). At this point, six weeks missed while on PUP seems like a best-case scenario. Complicating matters, we're dealing with the Patriots, who are the least forthcoming team in the league when it comes to dispensing injury information. Fantasy owners who draft Gronkowski in the early rounds need to prepare for the possibility that he misses most of the season.