Rob Gronkowski, the New England Patriots’ free-spirited and highly productive tight end, is considering his options while battling an infection in his surgically repaired left forearm, one of which could delay the start to his season, according to multiple reports Sunday.

Gronkowski will meet with Patriots management to discuss his options as he completes a six-week cycle of antibiotic treatment, according to the reports.

The Boston Herald first reported that doctors are considering a delay in replacing a plate in his forearm because tissue in the area might still be infected.

If another surgery is required after replacing the plate, Gronkowski’s rehabilitation could run through the preseason and leave him unprepared to start the regular season in early September.

Gronkowski broke his left forearm in a game against the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 18. He was upbeat while making media rounds this winter.

“Right now, just rehabbing, getting the muscle stronger around it,” Gronkowski said on the ESPN show “Mike and Mike in the Morning” recently. “You want to get everything activated, reactivated, because it shuts down for a little bit when it’s healing. Just rehabbing, and when my trainers give me the ‘good to go’, hopefully in the next couple weeks, hopefully as soon as possible — I can get rolling again and get back in the weight room and get back on the field and do what I love doing — running around and catching some balls.”

In 2011, Gronkowski had 90 receptions, 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns while playing in all 16 games. Last season, he had 55 catches for 790 yards and 11 touchdowns in 11 games.


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