A league source told the Globe Friday that the decision to return to the field is mostly up to Pats TE Rob Gronkowski, and the team is understanding of that.
The team has cleared Gronkowski to return, and Gronkowski’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, uses Dr. James Andrews for many of his second opinions. But in this case, Andrews is not an expert in forearm injuries and will likely not be the one to clear Gronkowski to play again, according to the league source.
Gronkowski’s camp has advised the tight end to be cautious and listen to the advice of Andrews, but Andrews won’t be the one who says go play, the source said.
The Patriots were likely expecting Gronk to be back by now because they didn't put him on the PUP list, so this means his timetable on returning is anyone's guess. The story says Gronkowski’s camp has concerns about the integrity of the bone in his arm where the implement was placed and the surrounding nerves, and that the infection may have been avoided if the bone had healed on its own. If Gronkowski is still having concerns five months after his last surgery, this raises serious questions about his long-term viability.