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Gronkowski's mother: He's 'dying to play'

The SportsXchange

The mother of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski said her son cannot wait to get back on the playing field but wants to avoid another forearm surgery.

"All I can say is Robbie is dying to play. He wants to get out there," Diane Gronkowski told the Boston Herald on Sunday. "He's doing what he has to do to get back playing. He doesn't like it. He wants to play. It really bothers him that he's not playing."

Gronkowski has had four operations on his left forearm since breaking it in November.

"The same people who criticize him for not coming back are the same people who say he came back too soon last time," Diane Gronkowski said. "It is what it is. Rob is the only one who can make this decision. Anybody else who has a comment to make positively or negatively aren't Rob. They aren't in his shoes. They didn't go through the surgeries that he went through.

"When they go through four arm surgeries, a back surgery, and a foot surgery in a year and a half, then they can make the comments. After the third (forearm) surgery, Robbie said, 'I'm never doing this again.' And weeks later, he's back in for the fourth one. So he doesn't want to go back where he was and start all over again. It wasn't fun. It was so discouraging."

Reports surfaced late last week that some Patriots players are resentful that Gronkowski has been practicing but not playing. His injury status has been day-to-day for several weeks but he has not appeared in a game this season.

"He'll be back," Diane Gronkowski said. "It's hard for people to be patient. It's hard for him to be patient. He wants to be out there. That's a definite."

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