Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Tuesday that the information team officials got back on Rob Gronkowski’s surgery was “as good a report as we could have hoped for.”
Gronkowski underwent a fourth surgery on his left forearm Monday afternoon at Massachusetts General Hospital to again replace the plate that was initially placed in his arm after his first break, last Nov. 18, and then was redone in January, after a second break in the playoffs.
“The report we got was very positive,” Kraft said at the NFL owners meetings at the Hyatt Harborside in East Boston. “I’ve learned in the medical area you can’t always predict everything, but it came out positive.
“I’m not a medical person, and things change day to day, but we were told it was as good a report as we could have hoped for.”
Gronkowski was one of many current and former Patriots players and coaches who went with Kraft to Newtown, Conn., Saturday to bring the organization’s “Football for You” program to that devastated town in an effort to help lift its spirits.
“He’s so positive,” Kraft said of the tight end. “Gronk was acting like [Tom] Brady and throwing with a bunch of kids. He told me to cover one of the kids. He really had the kids going.
“He’s a great guy and I hope we have him for the full season. I know all the fans want that and as an owner I surely do.”
After agreeing to remain in New England via a one-year free agent contract, cornerback Aqib Talib has the opportunity to spend more time with teammates, and more time learning the nuts and bolts of the defensive playbook.
“It’s always good to have the whole offseason, the whole training camp, and everything with the same group, build that camaraderie, learn how each other speaks on the field, our terminology and everything, so that’s always good,” Talib said.
Acquired from Tampa Bay at the trading deadline last fall, Talib signed a one-year deal with a maximum value of $5 million. The market for cornerbacks in free agency was terrible compared with recent years, so he will play this season and test the waters again next year.
But Talib, who has had his share of issues on and off the field, ducked a question about the prospect of this being a “prove it” type of deal.
“Man, this is just a time right now . . . what’s this month? May? June? May. Time to get in shape, man, that’s all we’re worried about right now, that’s all I’m worried about right now, getting in good shape, man, best shape I can be in.”
Asked about the free agency process, Talib said, “Man, I just let it play how it play,” and added that he wanted to return to the Patriots because “this is a great organization; great team, great teammates.”
As for how it happened, he gave a blunt answer.
“How’d I end up back here?” he said. “I signed a contract, came back.”
While players were wearing jerseys without numbers, there were several key players not spotted. Gronkowski, of course, was absent, as was Julian Edelman (foot). Running back Brandon Bolden was held out as a precaution; he sprained an ankle during training recently but is expected back on the field next week.
And Brandon Spikes remains a no-show. It is not clear why he is electing to steer clear of the Patriots facility, though he is under no contractual obligation to show, since OTAs are voluntary.
Bruschi is elected
The Patriots announced that Tedy Bruschi has been chosen as a 2013 inductee into the organization’s Hall of Fame after a fan vote.
Though former coach Chuck Fairbanks and All-Pro tackle Leon Gray are both worthy, it was no surprise that Bruschi, a third-round draft pick in 1996 who became a blue-collar cult hero to fans — his legend only growing after he returned from a stroke in 2005 — won the balloting.
“I’m very proud to have only played for one organization my entire career,” said Bruschi. “I worked very hard to make sure that happened.
“I remember getting drafted, in my apartment in Tucson, Ariz., and my girlfriend who is now my wife, I told her after I was drafted by the Patriots that I wanted to do everything I could to stay with the New England Patriots my entire career.
“To look back and say that I did that, and to stay with an organization and help them build something special is something I’m very proud of.”
Bruschi said he always felt as though he was one of the fans who voted for him, never thinking he was any different from the people in the stands cheering on the Patriots.
Kraft recalled an interaction with then-coach Bill Parcells shortly after the Patriots drafted Bruschi.
“I was standing next to Parcells, we were in the bubble, and Parcells said, ‘Who’s that Mexican guy?’ That always stuck out,” Kraft said. “We’re big believers in trying to keep certain players as long as we can. He was one of those guys who wanted to play here his whole career.”
It has been a good month for Bruschi: Two weeks ago, it was announced that he would be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Bruschi and longtime play-by-play voice Gil Santos will be inducted into the Patriots Hall Aug. 11.