|Ex-Medical Director of the Red Sox and current Patriots team doctor, Thomas Gill. (Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff)|
The Patriots medical staff has been called into question a little bit recently, namely the team doctor, Thomas Gill.
A report from WEEI's Mike Petraglia last night indicated that there was "serious concern" about the surgery performed. Essentially, both the team and Gronk opted for ultimately unnecessary surgery in order to rush Gronk back to health so he could play in the playoffs. When he re-injured the arm, it caused a lot of complications.
The concern came with the repeated surgeries to treat infections. An abscess could've developed which would "seriously weaken" the bone.
Speaking in his press conference earlier today, Belichick stood behind his staff.
Belichick asked about Dr. Gill: as it relates to our medical people, we have confidence in all of them. and they do a good job.
— shalise manza young (@shalisemyoung) October 11, 2013
Of course, this isn't the first time Dr. Thomas Gill's name has been in the news. Most recently, the NFLPA filed a grievance against the Patriots, asking Dr. Gill to be removed. However, Boston fans heard of gill much earlier, when he was the Red Sox team doctor. Gill was at the center of the Jacoby Ellsbury injury fiascos, as well as others. After the season, he was fired.
The controversy stemmed from Ellsbury claiming that the team failed to perform all necessary tests in relation to his broken ribs. Like Gronk, Ellsbury also ended up coming back too soon and re-aggravated the injury.
Ellsbury's diagnosis and treatment have created the most controversy, with the player insisting the team medical staff did not take scans of his back and thus did not detect the presence of a fifth fractured rib.
That was not discovered, the player said, until he attempted to come back in late May, complained of pain, and at his agent's insistence went to see Dr. Lewis Yocum for a second opinion. That's when an MRI revealed the additional fracture, as well as nerve damage and a strained back muscle, according to the player.
You can't jump to conclusions here and blame Dr. Gill for the problems with Gronk. According to WEEI, the decision to have surgery was as much his as the team's. Still, it might tell you something that Gronk is not hesitant to allow the Patriots to make the call on his return, bringing in Dr. James Andrews for approval as to whether he can return to the field or not.