It appears the time to make a decision on the most famous left forearm in the NFL, that of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, is in sight.
A league source said Wednesday night that a call will be made in two weeks whether to replace the second metal plate that was put in Gronkowski’s arm in January.
That is the timeline because that is when Gronkowski is scheduled to finish his antibiotic therapy.
If Gronkowski has to undergo another surgery, it will be the fourth on his arm, which he initially broke in the latter stages of the Patriots’ win over Indianapolis on Nov. 18.
The first surgery, in which a metal plate was placed over the fracture to his ulna bone, came the next day.
After missing five games, Gronkowski played a limited role in the regular-season finale against Miami.
Two weeks later, in the first quarter of New England’s first playoff game, against Houston, he rebroke the arm bracing himself as he fell while trying to pull in a sideline pass. This time, the arm broke just past the end of the first metal plate, closer to his elbow.
The next day brought the second surgery, and the second metal plate.
With his arm covered in a black cast, Gronkowski had a ball in New Orleans during Super Bowl week, making appearances on behalf of several companies before heading to Las Vegas.
But in late February, the 24-year-old was headed for the operating room again, this time to clean up an infection that had developed.
Gronkowski and the Patriots have been in wait-and-see mode since.
If the infection has not cleared up in two weeks, then the decision will be made on whether to replace the plate.
Despite playing only 10 games, Gronkowski had 53 receptions for 748 yards and 10 touchdowns.
This is the second consecutive year Gronkowski’s offseason has been compromised because of surgery and rehab. After the 2011 season, he needed surgery to fix the severely sprained ankle he suffered in the AFC Championship game.Shalise Manza Young can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @shalisemyoung