According to WEEI's Mike Petraglia, Gronkowski's arm injury, which he initially suffered in November 2012, might have healed properly without surgery. "But the team and Gronkowski, perhaps looking to hasten his return to the field, decided upon surgery to use an implement in hopes he would be ready for the playoffs," Petraglia wrote.
Earlier this week, there was a report that Gronk had finally been cleared to play, but Thursday night, a source told WEEI.com that "serious concerns" remain about the integrity of the bone in the tight end's arm where the implement was placed, as well as the surrounding nerves.
"The source indicated that if the bone had healed on its own without an implement, there might have been no infection," Petraglia reported. "However, there now are concerns that an abscess developed, causing infection and likely weakening the bone. This prompted three more surgeries in the offseason on the forearm, separate from the procedure on his back."
Gronkowski's family and representatives were made aware of these issues and advised Gronk to delay his return until his arm had completely healed.
There had been hope that this would be the week Gronkowski would play after he took part in practice earlier in the week.
"It's basically nothing new," Gronk said Thursday, via ESPNBoston.com. "I mean, I'm just working hard every week, working hard out at practice, and nothing's changed, we're day by day, like we've been from the very beginning. ...
"I'm just doing whatever the coach asks me to do, out at the practice field with my teammates, [whatever] they ask me to do, just to help the team out to my max ability," he added.