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Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski has 4th forearm surgery

Infection in arm appears cleared

Rob Gronkowski re-broke his left arm  on this play against the Texans in the playoffs in January. (Barry Chin/Globe Staff)

Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Rob Gronkowski re-broke his left arm on this play against the Texans in the playoffs in January.

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski had a fourth surgery Monday to help repair the left forearm that he broke twice in the 2012 season, a league source confirmed.

A league source told the Globe that the procedure, performed by Dr. Jesse Jupiter, went well and it is believed the infection that has lingered for weeks is gone.

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Another league source said there was “no obvious sign of infection,” and the expectation is Gronkowski will be ready for training camp.

Monday’s surgery was to replace the plate in Gronkowski’s forearm; assuming the infection has completely cleared, Gronkowski can begin his eight-to-10 week rehab process. Training camp will begin in about eight weeks.

Doctors won’t know for certain if the infection is gone for several days, after lab tests return.

Gronkowski first suffered the break more than six months ago, during the Patriots’ victory over Indianapolis Nov. 18. He broke it again, just past the end of the first plate that was surgically placed in his arm after the initial fracture, early in New England’s playoff win over Houston.

Assuming his arm problems are behind him, doctors will focus on Gronkowski’s back. He might need surgery to repair a disk, though that would happen during his current recovery. If surgery is needed, it would not delay his availability for training camp.

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NFL Network reported that Gronkowski will visit Dr. Robert Watkins in California in three to four weeks for a consultation on his back.

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The Patriots held their first day of organized team activities Monday, and linebacker Brandon Spikes was not present.

The reason for his absence is not known, though a league source said Spikes has not been at the Gillette Stadium facility “in a long time,” and that he and Bill Belichick do not see eye to eye.

OTAs and the offseason workout program are voluntary.

The coming season is the last on Spikes’s four-year rookie deal; he was a second-round pick out of Florida in 2010.

The once-prolific tweeter has been silent on the social media platform since Feb. 28.

Spikes finished last season second on the team in tackles with 128. He also was credited with five forced fumbles, seven pass breakups, and a sack.

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The Patriots signed two undrafted rookies, receiver Mark Harrison and kicker David Ruffer.

Harrison played at Rutgers, making him the fifth rookie on the New England roster who was with the Scarlet Knights last fall. A three-year starter, the 6-foot-3-inch, 255-pound Harrison played in 13 games in 2012, making 44 catches for 583 yards and six touchdowns.

Ruffer, out of Notre Dame, is listed at 6-1, 193 pounds. He set a school record with 23 career field goals with the Fighting Irish, but began his college career at William & Mary.

Shalise Manza Young can be reached at syoung@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shalisemyoung. Ben Volin can be reached at Ben.Volin@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @BenVolin.

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