New England Patriots
tight end Rob Gronkowski
is unlikely to play Sunday against the New Orleans Saints
, according to ESPN.
Gronkowski practiced all week, but the team had not cleared him as of Friday. He is recovering from multiple back and forearm surgeries.
WEEI.com reported that there is growing concern over his first forearm surgery, which was performed by team doctor Tom Gill. He was injured last November.
When Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked Friday about his confidence in the team's medical staff, he said, "As it relates to our medical people, we have confidence in all of them. They do a good job."
According to the report, "serious concerns" remain about the integrity of the bone in the tight end's arm where an implement was placed, as well as the surrounding nerves.
If the bone healed on its own without the implement, there may not have been an infection. The concern is that an abscess developed, causing infection and likely weakening the bone. Gronkowski had three more surgeries on the forearm.
Dr. Jesse Jupiter, who performed Gronkowski's most recent forearm surgery, has not cleared him to play.
Dr. James Andrews, whom the Patriots hired as an independent physician, also did not give Gronkowski clearance to play as of Friday. Andrews did not operate on Gronkowski.
Gronkowski has been practicing for several weeks but has not played this season.
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